The ethnic of John Wick franchise is always about gun blazing, body slicing, face hitting, and all-around crazy stunt. The third install of the franchise is trying to overthrow their last two films in terms of the action, casting and all-around madness. They even introducing a killer dog in these movies! How can that be more of a badass?
Prepare For War
In Parabellum, Mr. Wick is once again getting ready for a war. After getting a bounty over his head for $ 14 million, John Wick is declared “excommunicado” by the boss in High Table after he kills Santino D’Antonio, a member of High Table in the Continental. This bounty is deployed to every corner and every assassin that the High Table has under their table. Of course, they are plowing their way to try to catch the ‘Baba Yaga’. Some are in for the money some are for the fame of course. Trying to escape his fate, John Wick tries to seek the help of his old-time acquaintances. Wick is also trying to find his way to try to blast the boss in High Table to dust, settling his “excommunicado” status and waiving the bounty over his head. All while trying to dodge around the assassins that try to kill him.
Besides all the killings and explosion, Parabellum also introduces us to the mystery of John Wick character. It shows, albeit just a little of how John Wick becomes a John Wick. His real name, his past, his training, and his allegiance. We also give a glimmer of how exactly the High Table work, with more screen time for its back-office until the place where they produced the infamous gold coin.
The third installment certainly re-introduces several old characters and the new one. Ian Mcshane is returning as Winston, manager of the Continental. Laurence Fishburn as the Bowery King, this time with a disfigured face due to the help he gives John. Lance Reddick as Charon, Continental prominence concierge. The new face is when it starts to be exciting. Asia Kate Dillon as The Adjudicator, which she plays brilliantly and really grasp the idea of someone that should be called The Adjudicator. Halle Berry as Sofia, ex killer and an old acquaintance of John Wick, she also has a killer dog! We found one familiar face from Game of Thrones as well, Jerome Flynn who we better knew as Bronn in Game of Thrones. Jerome plays as Berrada, the Master of Coin (ahemm) for the High Table. In the assassin part, we have Mark Dacascos as Zero, who acted like John Wick rival but never bring anything serious to the table. I found the duo from The Raid 1&2, Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian as a much better enemy, this duo should become the final boss for John instead of Dacascos character, who has no charisma whatsoever. Another one interesting part is in the form of Mr. Wick first assassin encounter in Parabellum, he is Ernest, played by Boban Marjanović of the Dallas Maverick.
For every installment that John Wick has, I never shy away to my colleague and told them to just watch it! It’s a fun movie with great action and choreography. However, for some of colleague that have more or less the same taste with me and just being a critic, John Wick, just like many others action movie, falls short in the plot category. Keanu plays Mr. Wick as brilliantly as he should have. Menacing and full of mystery. The action in this movie is really hit and miss sometimes. In one of the scene, they set the bar very high (knife scene in the early minutes, motor chase scene), just good scene (Wick vs other assassins), great but slowly turning to boring (Morocco scene, with the killer dogs) and the most disappoint scene during the boss fight in the final minutes. This is what bothers me the most. As I said above, Cecep and Yayan from the Raid are having more charisma than the bland Zero. Wick final encounter with Zero is definitely one of the most fail parts of the franchise, the action is plain, with just some scene with mirror and that’s it, it should be more extravagant, bloody and extreme for a final boss fight right?. While during Cecep and Yayan scene, they also don’t bring something spectacular, like the one that they do during The Raid, but the builds their encounter is great, but the execution is a disaster. Still, I have high hopes that Cecep and Yayan will be back for the next installment since they are given a chance to live by Mr. Wick.
Parabellum is certainly will be having a sequel. Indicated by its success in the revenue department, not in the critics’ department. It is a certified box office with revenue worldwide of $320 million vs $75 million budget. John Wick is a must-watch for action fans and certainly for Keanu fans. Its a fun and straight to the point movie, the action is great and from the action, itself (+Keanu Reeves), it’s enough to redeem its fall from the plot.