“Guns, lots of guns” – John Wick
Rating – ★★★½
Starting immediately after the events of John Wick: Chapter 2, a huge bounty is put on John’s head. Our hero finds himself on the run, with little time to get away from all who are after him. Very quickly we are reminded of what Wick can do, with an incredibly enthusiastic opening half hour. After the tone is briskly set, it manages to stay at that level of intensity for pretty much the entirety of its 2 hour runtime. We’ve seen what happens when you kill his dog, we’ve seen what happens when you blow up his house, now we get to see what happens when you put an entire assassin organisation on him.
What director Chad Stahelski and lead actor Keanu Reeves manage to do so well, is continuously up the ante. Just when you thought this franchise had hit its highest point, certainly in terms of action, it finds more ingenious ways of providing something new. The world building and stunt work are the best we’ve seen this far, but it makes up for a story that becomes a little far fetched. It manages to answer the question just how far is John Wick willing to go? Apparently, far enough to put his body through literal hell in an attempt to have his name cleared. Given that this is a franchise that primarily works on its groundbreaking, gritty action sequences however, I can forgive the movie for its excessive attempt at storytelling.
Much like the previous instalments, you come for its inventive and well choreographed set pieces and this chapter certantly didn’t fall short on that tradition. There’s also a stronger comedy element, which was something you didn’t realise the previous two were missing until we got it. From its witty characterisations and well timed dialogue, to the overly graphic and excessive kill count (which if you try to keep track of by the way, you’d have given up before the first act is up).
This time the kills and thrills aren’t just reliant on Keanu doing what he does best, but Halle Berry, joined by two malicious and well trained dogs, get in on the action too. One shared moment in particular, coming around the half way mark, is one of the movies more memorable scenes.
John Wick: Chapter 3 certainly isn’t just another brainless action movie, but it’s not exactly genre defining either. If you’ve seen what came before it (which I seriously recommend you do), then you likely have an idea of what to expect, but it still does a grand job of exceeding expectation. A brutal yet satisfying cinematic experience.