Is there a third John Wick film? Yes there is. Is it that unheard of phenomenon, a third movie in a franchise that beats the first? Have a guess. With the pandemic-led delays, everyone wants to know when is the fourth John Wick movie going to be released? I have used this recent buzz and interest to "Get down with The Wickness" and catch up on a franchise I have only just discovered.
Dir: Chad Stahelski
Prod: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee
Screenplay: Derek Kolstad
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ian MacShane, Halle Berry
Released by: Lionsgate
Running time: 131 mins
John is on the run, beginning minutes after the last one ended. There is a definite spring in Keanu's step that was missing in part 2, so I give it some time.
He, as he promised, kills all who enter the fray with him. The assistance given to him by Winston and The Continental, as well as the Bowery King is met with punishment by an adjudicator. Both men are relieved of power.
John takes passage via his original tutor, played by the magnificent Anjelica Huston, and arrives in Casablanca to call in a marker from Halle Berry. With her assistance and a couple of dick-hungry dogs they kill the entire Casbah and John gets to see "The Elder" who charges him with a task. He must pledge his fealty to the High Table, show a sign of this, and return to his old life. John accepts but reneges on his return.
The now unconsecrated Continental provides no haven and the Bowery Kings was given seven cuts (one for each bullet he gave John Wick.) The seventh being the obvious torso splice that floors him. Mr Wick has no friends. Where will it go?
So, is Parabellum worth fighting for (that will make sense when what 'Parabellum' means is revealed?) For one thing, it is too long. I was sick of most of the action scenes. The use of knives and the penis-pups gave some relief and of course the action is crisply edited but a lot was unnecessary.
That could be the tagline. We meet 'Zero' who is head of an elite assassination squad of ninjas and Sushi chefs and I struggle to understand why. He offers nothing unique and is seemingly there to fill a gap of a respectful rival that we had in the first two. Same with the adjudicator playing the mysterious managerial role.
A common complaint has been that John's invincibility makes it like Neo in Matrix: Reloaded. There is no fun watching a guy survive and always win. It gives the audience nothing to invest in or to feel hope and relief for. With little story-line or originality involved you need some form of sympathy otherwise it just becomes a noise.
Further to this point of there being no danger there also appears to be no consequence. He offends the High Table which is the head of their world, but, wait a minute, oh yeah, there is an 'Elder.' So when John pisses him off is there going to be an 'even elder Elder?' It reminds me of the Beatles movie Help! There is no shock or surprise or consequence to all the crazy and outlandish stuff that happened to the Fab Four in that movie (add to which they were clearly bored and definitely stoned) and it feels the same for John Wick now. His house blows up, he has no money, no friends, nowhere to go, but somehow there is always another mysterious centre run by a person who knows him and will help him just this once.
It is left open for a sequel and we all know it is coming. What befuddles me is that there is supposed to be a fifth. By then he will be speaking to God's superior on the surface of the sun.
Also, the scene where he survives the fall from the rooftop. Come off it.
Just too stupid. Sorry