Audiences are still evidently drawn to the gritty-action thriller franchise, John Wick, judging by how successful the latest film, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is doing at the box-office.
In this third instalment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail.
The film takes place moments after the ending of the second film with Wick on the run after killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table. Since the killing took place at The Continental, John Wick has been deemed excommunicado, resulting in him being the target of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women at every turn.
Although the formula of the film still remains – gratuitous violence, stylised kills and headshots – the world that director Chad Stahelski has created continues to appeal on many levels. Yes, the appeal of the film is still Wick despatching baddies with extreme prejudice, but the world building in the franchise, specifically the network of the underworld is what seems to be most intriguing.
In John Wick: Chapter 3, that comes to light in more ways than one with revelations about the titular character as well as the High Table. The storyline suggests a deeper and more complex underworld with Wick as a prominent player. But seeing how he has broken the ‘rules’ he is left with little choice but to fight his way out of the mess, albeit with the help of some familiar characters from the franchise as well as temporary ally in Sofia (Halle Berry).
But the storyline isn’t centred solely on Wick in this adventure. Both Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) also find themselves in the crosshairs of the High Table following the events of Chapter 2. The Bowery King especially teases a bigger role to play in the franchise moving forward.
Nevertheless, despite of this, it is the cool action sequences that fans will remember the most about John Wick 3. And they do not disappoint. From a horse ride in the middle of New York to a book fight at the Public Library to Katana wielding battles on motorcycles and a pair of lethal assassin dogs, the third instalment to the franchise is not short on gore, violence and thrills.
Overall, if that is what appeals to you most about this franchise, then you will not be disappointed. In fact you may even be clamouring for a ‘Chapter 4’ just before the end credits roll.
Popcorn Rating: Hot & Spicy