The verdict on John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is in.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum finally hits UK cinemas May 15 and hopes are exceedingly high. Chad Stahelski's slick and stylish action vehicle arrived in 2014 and encouraged genre enthusiasts to fall in love with Keanu Reeves all over again. The former Matrix star was at his best in the Wachowskis 1999 sci-fi action masterwork, but in John Wick, he was back to his old tricks.
Bursting back onto the screen with action sequences both gorgeous and gut-wrenching, it was obvious that Reeves' new role boasted franchise potential. Funnily enough, it was a film which hit cinemas and failed to raise eyebrows until word of mouth began to generate like wildfire. Very few were invested in it throughout the marketing campaign, but once these lucky few had braved its opening week, they had to warn us all; do not sleep on John Wick.
As more and more curious audiences headed out to rekindle their love for Reeves' and his unique screen presence, demand for a sequel meant that fans could look forward to reuniting once again with Mr. Wick — and that's exactly what they did. Fast forward three years and John Wick: Chapter Two roared into cinemas, more ferocious and fiery than the last.
The sequel amplified all of the elements explored in the first film, urging many to declare Stahelski and Reeves' partnership the latest and greatest in all of action cinema. They're a match made in heaven, which is why we simply cannot wait to see them return in the third instalment. Fortunately, the verdict is already in.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is swiftly being regarded as the most bonkers and exaggerated instalment of the franchise; if you've indulged in the trailer, you'll know why. As the series has progressed, it seems to have gotten more outrageous, with further lore providing the opportunity for more bewildering carnage. Some have adored the maniacal path it's taken, but if you're more inclined towards John Wick than John Wick: Chapter Two, the third may disappoint you considerably.
As mentioned, Chapter 3 takes things further than its predecessors in terms of outlandish spectacle. Bloody Disgusting's William Bibbiani addresses this in his review: "The action sequences keep getting better and better but now John is pretty much just going through the motions, doing what other people force him to do, not what he wants for himself."
In the first film, all of Wick's outbursts were the product of a motive audiences could truly get behind; that's what made it so resonant and affecting. The second instalment traded moments of sincerity for sequences of insanity. Here, it looks like we've gone further down the rabbit hole; there's a reason why Stahelski drew comparisons to Alice in Wonderland.
Nick De Semlyen's Empire review reinforces this idea, arguing that Chapter 3 "...cranks the volume dial still further [than Chapter 2], deepening the whacked-out mythology and delivering a series of bushido brawls as inventive as they are wincey."
If you cast your mind back to some of the emotional depth of John Wick and see the previous instalment as an unfortunate deviation, then this may be the hardest effort of the three to invest in. Personally, the action appears so well choreographed that it's impossible to resist. We're glad he's back.
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