Director: Chad Stahelski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne
Release Date: September 10, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Super assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild. Now excommunicado, and with an army of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women on his trail, John must find a way to survive in this third chapter of the adrenaline-fueled action series.
‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ picks up immediately after the tense conclusion of the previous film, with John Wick (Reeves) granted an hour before being dubbed excommunicado by the high table and therefore becoming the biggest target in everyone’s sights. As the countdown concludes and every assassin to glimpse him attempting to take him out, John must find a way to stay alive long enough to collect a few key favors from important individuals likely to prove the only chance of possible survival. Now, with the small amount of help available to him, John must use his talents to navigate throughout the world and make his moves while fighting off unexpected adversaries at every turn. But since when has such a task been too much for the legendary John Wick.
Once again directed by Chad Stahelski (John Wick 1 & 2) from a screenplay by Derek Kolstad (John Wick 1 & 2), Shay Hatten ((Future) Cult Classic), Chris Collins (TV’s Sons of Anarchy) and Marc Abrams (TV’s Encourage) and from a story by Kolstad, Stahelski does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ once again guiding along the action-packed insanity with beauty and style. The film also owes plenty of credit to the powerhouse cast comprised of both returning individuals and noteworthy newcomers, including Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Halle Berry (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Laurence Fishburne (TV’s Black-ish), Ian McShane (TV’s American Gods), Anjelica Huston (The Witches), Mark Dacascos (TV’s Hawaii Five-0), Asia Kate Dillon (TV’s Billions), Lance Reddick (TV’s Bosch) and a number more, with nearly all providing capable and perfectly fitting performances in each of their respective roles, and Reeves in particular yet again proving to be quite the talented action star with no hint of slowing down anytime soon.
‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ is another dazzling, action packed and wildly entertaining installment in the popular ‘John Wick’ franchise. Miraculously still managing to find unique and exciting new ways to escalate the action sequences to new levels and extremes, delivering everything from explosive gunfights to high speed swordfights on motorcycle and Dog Fu this time around, and always unafraid to bring it back to basics at the same time with confined hand to hand fights and plenty more. Perhaps most impressive is that at the same time it still manages to keep things fresh and fairly interesting in the story department as it delves deeper into the operations and scope of the legendary High Table, along with John’s past and other elements touched upon in its predecessors yet never explored too thoroughly. All helping to keep the series feeling simultaneously familiar and fresh for the most part, once again guided along beautifully by director Chad Stahelski and boosted all the more by a stellar cast that just becomes more impressive and expansive with each new film, plus of course another intense performance by Reeves, a true action star in his own right who certainly doesn’t appear to be losing any steam. I can’t encourage fans of the previous two films in the series strongly enough to check out ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ whenever possible if you haven’t already had the pleasure. It’s another incredibly fun and action loaded ride that fans of the first two films won’t even want to think about missing out on.
Overall, ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ is another impressive installment in the ongoing action series that serves up plenty of visually breathtaking fun and excitement around every turn. Finding smart new ways to keep the action clever and fresh and still increasing the insanity level; always crafting new styles and wild ideas to incorporate such as Dog Fu and high speed motorcycle swordfights this time to name a few, and never relying on the action alone as it simultaneously expands upon the engaging details of the world within. ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ is highly recommended for fellow fans of the series, as well as action movie fans in general (although I would strongly suggest watching the first two movies before jumping into this one if you’re new to the franchise). Once again providing fans with an enthralling story and no shortage of clever new ways to up the ante in the action department, this series certainly hasn’t lost its touch.
The Blu-ray release of ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a sharp and clean presentation, richly detailed down to the vibrant colors always on prominent display. It holds up remarkably well even during the numerous fast moving action scenes and darkly lit moments, never allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible along the way. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that delivers admirably throughout and should easily please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is an absolute delight that delivers a smooth, sharp and insanely aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to assault the viewer with a barrage of near constant gunfire, vehicle activity, debris, rain patter and a whole lot more zipping throughout the various speakers, while also making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible at all times. Overall, this is an outstanding Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers full force from start to finish while constantly adding to the overall fun of the experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ includes a solid helping of fun extras. Included on the release is a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes exploring different aspects of bringing the film to life, including behind the scenes and training footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Parabellum: Legacy of the High Table’ (running approximately 11 minutes in length), ‘Excommunicado’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Check Your Sights’ (approximately 10 minutes), ‘Saddle Up Wick’ (5 minutes), ‘Bikes, Blades, Bridges, and Bits’ (6 minutes), ‘Continental In The Desert’ (10 minutes), ‘Dog Fu’ (8 minutes), ‘House of Transparency’ (7 minutes) and ‘Shot By Shot’ (9 minutes). ‘2 Theatrical Trailers’ for the movie (approximately 5 minutes combined) are also included, along with the ‘John Wick Hex Game Trailer’ (1 minute) and ‘Behind the Scenes of John Wick Hex’ (7 minutes).