John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum review: John is back and as entertaining as ever

Keanu Reeves stars as 'John Wick' in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM. Photo Credit: Mark Rogers.
Keanu Reeves stars as 'John Wick' in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM. Photo Credit: Mark Rogers. /

John Wick aka The Baba Yaga is BACK and this time he’s on the run from every assassin in the world. The third entry in the trilogy holds up to the hype.

The John Wick franchise really came out of nowhere when it first hit the scene. Nobody knew what to expect but it looked interesting enough. It ended up being a huge hit and now here we are two entries later.

John Wick has replaced Chuck Norris as the go-to name for an unstoppable force in the action world. I recently saw Cinema Blend do a series of Facebook polls asking who would win between John Wick and other action heroes and Wick was winning every poll with over 80% of the vote.

In John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, John has been excommunicated from “The Table” (the secret spy network he was a part of) and we pick up the action right where the last movie ended. John is scurrying to find a way out of the city before 6 p.m. hits and it’s open season on him for a 14 million dollar bounty.

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Non-stop action

John Wick 3 will definitely test your endurance. In the 2 hour and 11 minute run time, John stops to catch his breath for maybe 20 minutes. As I mentioned above, the movie starts with John running to try to get his affairs in order and get out of the city before his time is up, but that in itself does not go smoothly. He ends up having to face his first opponent (a very large one in Philadelphia 76ers 7’3″ Center Boban Marjanovic) before the clock strikes six.

From there we’re off to the races as John can’t enter a room without a gun going off or knife flying at him. Speaking of which, one of the best fight sequences early in the movie involves John Wick and several would-be assassins in a knife room simply chucking knives back and forth at each other. It hits both on the comedic levels and the overall badass appeal of John Wick and his resourcefulness.

Halle Berry stars as ‘Sophia’ in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM. Photo Credit: Mark Rogers.
Halle Berry stars as ‘Sophia’ in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM. Photo Credit: Mark Rogers. /

After linking up with Halle Berry’s Sofia, there is another epic battle in Morocco. Wick goes to her to help him see if he can get the kill order stopped as she’s the only person who still owes him something.

During the process, we meet her dogs who have their own epic fight moments in the big brawl. A brawl that only started because one of her dogs gets injured. (STOP MESSING WITH ASSASSIN’S DOGS!) Halle more than carries her weight in the scene and I would have loved to see more of her. This may have been the scene with the most bodies but I’ll have to double-check the body count.

There are so many action sequences that it would be easy to forget some of them. The final showdowns (yes, showdowns) were memorable from the visual aspect, to the fan service, and the comedy as well, which we’ll get to next.

John Wick 3
John Wick 3 photo via WBPress /


The beauty of John Wick and a huge reason why it works is because it is funny without being goofy in its most intense moments. I personally am not very fond of gory movies and when you really think about it, John Wick is pretty graphic with multiple head and neck shots, stabbings, limbs being cut off, etc.

However, all of the gratuitous violence is undercut by moments of humor. For example, during the early fight scene with Boban, the giant puts his finger up to his lips to shush John before slamming his head into a book shelf. The fight takes place in a library so this moment gets plenty of laughs.

Later in the movie, there’s a scene where John and some henchmen are fighting in a room that has a ton of knives in glass cases. They are fighting hand to hand then stop, realizing the weapons around them, break the glass and a knife fight ensues.

Similarly, there’s a scene where John and his opponent draw on each other only to realize they’re both out of bullets. A second assassin that John has pinned is also out of bullets and the three freeze to acknowledge this before a race to reload ensues (I think you know who wins). All of this helps you get over the blood splatter and exploding faces. Inversely, they get back to the graphic violence before you get a chance to feel like the humor was goofy. It’s brilliantly executed.

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John Wick 3 delivers exactly what it was expected to. Keanu’s signature style of combat is wildly entertaining and the new ways in which combatants attacked him tested his skills more than they had in the previous two films.

This entry also gave some of our favorite side characters larger roles and allowed them to show off their skills as well. We were introduced to a new ally in Halle Berry’s Sofia and we were also teased with a fourth entry being necessary to continue to tell John’s story.

Fans of the franchise will not be complaining at all.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is currently airing in theaters.