Picking-up mere minutes after John Wick: Chapter 2, director Chad Stahelski’s 2019 action film John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum sees Keanu Reeves‘ Wick excommunicado from his league of assassins and on the run, with an ever increasing bounty on his head after breaking the house rules of the Continental Hotel (a safe-haven for a secret world of killers). He fights, shoots and pretty much destroys anything that gets in his way as he attempts to escape the never-ending line of killers on his tail as he tries to find a way to save his skin.
Chad Stahelski worked as Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix films and he seems to know what he is capable of, making sure the then 55 year-old star looks his best while killing the bad guys in a cool suit (Wick 3 also makes reference to one of the 1999 film’s most famous lines). The sheer physicality of his performance is mind-blowing, with Reeves kicking all sorts of ass in many different ways in extended takes. I’ve sometimes knocked Reeves in the past for the occasionally clunky line delivery but he deserves some sort of special Academy Award for physical performance here. The list of actors who have crafted classic physical performances is short and distinguished (Charlie Chaplin/Buster Keaton/Jackie Chan and Tom Cruise) but Reeves’ John Wick work is up there with that level of dedication and delivery. In a world of CGI and green screen it’s a joy to see such action and stunt work delivered in camera.
A cacophony of cinematic chaos, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is a stunning piece of action cinema. A beautifully balletic bullet-strewn, bone-crunching romp, the Keanu Reeves starrer is a franchise best and while there is little-to-no plot, it’s a masterfully choreographed film which will leave you stunned and wondering how they pulled it all off.
Budgeted at $75 million, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum grossed $171 million at the US box office and more than $327 million worwide in 2019.