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Film Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

3 June 19 words: Emma Walsh

Despite the six-foot-something guy who decided to sit in front of me, I did actually see John Wick 3. And it was the best one yet...

Director: Chad Stahelski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane

Running time: 131 mins

Following John Wick 2, John (Keanu Reeves) is on the run, having been pronounced “excommunicado” by manager of New York’s Hotel Continental, Winston (Ian McShane). With this in mind, it was honestly a bit difficult to tell where the screenwriters were going to go with it. It would’ve been all too easy to fall into the trap of an assassin trying to kill our hero, and then another assassin trying to kill our hero, and then another, and then… well, you get the idea. And with that, we’d have lost any sense of plot. But where they’re starting to take the franchise is really imaginative, introducing members of The High Table, namely in the form of The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon), determined to punish anyone responsible for helping John, and fantastically played in the sense that you’ll hate her from her entrance to her exit.

Not only that but a whole backstory is crafted for John. Let’s face it, as much as we love the hero of the trilogy, we don’t really know too much about him. His whole backstory can be summed up in a sentence to be honest; he left his life as a hitman to marry the woman he loved, who died and left him a dog, which was killed, so he went back to life as a hitman. Simple as that. Or not. This film offers an insight into John’s life before becoming an assassin, introducing characters like The Director (Anjelica Huston) and Sofia (Halle Berry), and it brings a new aspect to the film to know that bit more about the guy we’re constantly rooting for.

It’s a film that’s sure to keep you guessing, even after it’s finished

An action fan’s dream, it’s chock-full of everything you love about the genre, from car chases, to bike chases, to horse chases… yeah, you heard me, there’s even horse chases in this installment. John Wick is a killer like you’ve never seen him before in some stunningly choreographed fight scenes, with some resourceful kills bound to get you wincing for his attackers. He even works with other people, rather than as the lone wolf figure we’ve come to know throughout the franchise, and this allows some characters, like Charon (Lance Reddick) to be appreciated in a whole new way. And, although all aspects of the choreography are meticulously crafted, the introduction of Halle Berry’s two attack dogs had the potential to challenge the crew in terms of choreography, but they proved that these kind of additions don’t faze them, the dogs integrating seamlessly into the fight scenes as they work alongside John.

Dotted with humour and some undoubtedly wholesome moments from John’s dog, Dog, it has something for everyone, and, full of plot twists and changing alliances, it’s a film that’s sure to keep you guessing, even after it’s finished. Director, Chad Stahelski, has definitely left it at a place guaranteed to get people flocking in on the opening night of the next one.

Did you know? Halle Berry broke three ribs while filming the movie

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