FILM REVIEW: JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM (15)
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: KEANU REEVES, IAN McSHANE, HALLE BERRY, LAURENCE FISHBURNE, MARK DACASCOS, LANCE REDDICK, ASIA KATE DILLON, ANJELICA HUSTON, SAID TAGHMAOUI, TOBIAS SEGAL & JEROME FLYNN
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 10 MINS
DIRECTOR: CHAD STAHELSKI
Keanu Reeves and his hitman John Wick have really come far.
The first movie was an unexpected independent gem (4.5/5), the second one was a worthy glitzier follow-up (3.5/5) - but now Wick has gone all epic on us by taking him into spectacular blockbuster territory.
And what ends up the other side of his cross-hairs is one of the best action movies of this generation - probably the best of its ilk since Matt Damon completed the original Bourne Trilogy with Ultimatum some 12 years ago.
Why? Because among an engaging plot, Parabellum boasts some of the best action sequences ever made - not just in recent memory, but all-time.
Continuing directly after the conclusion of the second instalment - with Reeve’s skilled assassin Wick given one hour’s grace by hotel manager Winston (Ian McShane) after an unsanctioned killing on the grounds of the Continental hotel - he’s now a marked man on the run after being declared ‘excommunicado’ by the High Table and placed under a $14 million bounty.
And as soon as he kills his first attacker by breaking his jaw with a book in New York Public Library you feel this is going to be special, and it doesn’t disappoint as it moves from one breathtaking set-piece to the next with twists and turns that makes it an exhilarating watch from start to finish - only pausing for breathe a couple of times.
Reeves and McShane are ably assisted once again by Lance Reddick’s hotel concierge Charon and Laurence Fishburne’s crime lord the Bowery King - but what gives this a grander feel is the addition of Halle Berry’s kick-ass hitgirl Sofia, Asia Kate Dillon’s ice cold High Table adjudicator, Anjelica Huston’s ruthless director - and particularly legendary martial artist Mark Dacascos’ truly lethal assassin Zero.
When you throw them all in the pot - and combine them with director Chad Stahelski’s first class action guidance - this really cooks up a recipe that truly works.
As long as they don’t overcook the series so it doesn’t outstay its welcome of course.
But as it stands this is one of the best action-thriller trilogies ever made, and when you light the wick in John’s candle - he always seems to burn the house down.
By Gavin Miller