Tag Archives: John Wick

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

John Wick 3 gives viewers more of the action they crave.

Bring on the ballet of bombast! Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (B-) delivers more of what fans desire – the stoic Keanu Reeves as the titular retired hit man now with quite a bounty on his head, brutally graphic action sequences and elaborate fights and stunts staged against epic and ultra-cool set pieces. A few Oscar winners and nominees are thrown in the mix – Halle Barry, Laurence Fishburne and Angelica Huston chief among them – and none should expect a repeat nomination from this outing. Barry is particularly hit or miss. But for sheer propulsive action and energy, this flick brings the goods. Front-loaded with some of its best sequences including a fight in a library with books as weapons and a more straightforward showdown in an actual weapons store, the film ultimately gets a bit campy with elaborate lairs resembling Bond villain hideaways re-imagined by Max Headroom’s electronica DJ nephew. Following the rules and lore of the assassin underground becomes a bit puzzling, but by the time the travelogue has taken viewers from NYC to Casablanca and back, you realize it’s all just a big canvas for grotesquerie, kung fu and bloodsport.  Nothing seems to slow down this earnest and absurd series.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2

The second chapter of unexpected action franchise opens the universe further.

Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 2 (B) doubles down on the surprisingly solid franchise’s signature nonstop action while expanding the backstory and lore of Keanu Reeves’ eponymous character, a retired hit man seeking vengeance. Who would have guessed this wall-to-wall actioner would go full Godfather 2 and serve up a gracious expanded universe? The acting is pretty sloppy, but the fight choreography is to die for. Full-on action in New York City and Rome lead to a nifty cliffhanger and certainly another sequel.

Movie Review: John Wick

Chad Stahelski and David Leitch’s John Wick (B-) is an exercise in being single-minded of purpose and being pretty successful at it. Keanu Reeves plays the titular hitman whose loss of a loved one triggers a return into an underbelly of crime as he exacts all-out revenge. The co-directors, clearly inspired by anime and martial arts films, bring out the best in their feng shui fighter with the ultimate Reeves performance. Michael Nyqvist and Alfie Allen are delicious villains. The action sequences are solid and the mood and colors of the crime dens are lovingly lit like pages of a graphic novel. Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane and John Leguizamo are among the supporting cast, adding additional pedigree to the killing spree. It doesn’t add up to much, but it’s a good time.