FILM

"John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" Is a Master Class in Weaponry

If Oscars were awarded for action scenes, "John Wick: Chapter 3'" would win, hands down.

Polygon

The John Wick franchise plays out like a stuntman's wet dream.

Most action movies rely on quick cuts or masked costumes to work around the lead actor's lack of actual combat ability. But in John Wick, action cleanly flows across expertly choreographed long takes, from multi-man gun battles to tense martial arts fights, with Keanu Reeves' bloodied mug ever-visible. Reeves might not be the most convincing actor in Hollywood, but John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum solidifies his status as the best leading stuntman by a mile.

The original John Wick is one of the greatest action movies ever made, featuring both amazing visuals and an incredibly tight script to match. The story is simple and compelling: a Russian mob boss' son steals a man's car and kills his dog. That man just happens to be John Wick, the greatest assassin to ever live who had just recently retired. So John Wick sets out to kill the mob boss' son, meaning he also has to destroy the entire Russian mob. It's not just a great action movie; it's a great movie, period.

John Wick: Chapter 2 pales in comparison. It expands on the worldbuilding of the original, delving into the underground society of assassins and seeing John forced to return to work once again due to a bad deal he made with an Italian crime boss. The resulting movie is very fun with some great action set pieces, but it's clunkier overall and largely devoid of the same sense of catharsis that ran through the first.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum picks up right where Chapter 2 left off. The sequel ended on a cliffhanger, with John Wick excommunicated from the assassin world after breaking one of its cardinal rules-doing business (read: killing someone) on neutral ground. The punishment: death. Now John Wick is on the run, desperate to escape New York City with every other assassin out for the open 14 million dollar contract on his head.

Like Chapter 2, Chapter 3 focuses heavily on the assassin world. John Wick's journey leads him to seek help from various sources, including former assassin and current hotel-for-assassins manager, Sofia (Halle Berry), and The Director (Anjelica Huston), head of the Russian assassin-training cell through which John was trained. New villains emerge as well, namely The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon), chancellor of the "High Table" assassin syndicate, and Zero (Mark Dacascos of Iron Chef), a sushi chef assassin with masterful command of blades. The script is a lot of fun, less goofy than Chapter 2, but not nearly as swift as the original.

The action, however, is more than just fun. It's transcendent, elevating and highlighting action movie stunt work as an honest-to-goodness art form. If the original John Wick was the pinnacle of realistic gunplay, Chapter 3 is a master class in creative weaponry. Director Chad Stahelski designed every individual fight scene to make full use of its location and props, with highlights including a horse battle in a carriage stable, a dog fight in an open-air market, and a particularly gruesome book-related death in a library.

But nothing comes close to the antique shop fight, an awe-inspiring blend of creative scenery and breathtaking knife work. I won't spoil the surprise of this fight for anyone who hasn't watched yet, but I will say that few action scenes in movie history have come anywhere close to the sheer craftsmanship on display in this one. It's beyond exhilarating, toeing the line between brutality and humor and, at least in my theater, drawing actual applause twice. If Oscars were awarded for action scenes, this would be 2019's winner, hands down. Hell, it might be the single best action scene I've ever had the pleasure of watching. Moreover, John Wick makes a compelling argument for stunt work like this to be officially recognized at major movie awards shows.

Despite whatever flaws John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum may have with its script and regardless of whether or not its runtime is a tad bloated, few action movies have ever displayed the same level of skill and talent as this one. As such, I wouldn't just recommend that all action movie fans drop what they're doing to watch it on the biggest screen they can. I would demand it.

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡/5


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 17th

Drop everything you're doing and go see John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

Only one movie matters this weekend, and that movie is John Wick: Chapter 3.

WIDE RELEASE:

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019 Movie) New Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry www.youtube.com

It's no secret that I'm a huge John Wick fanboy. Few other franchises in movie history have managed to take material typically relegated to blockbuster shlock––in this case, absurd, hyper-violent action fare––and turn it into high art. But from the vibrant choreography to the expert cinematography to Keanu Reeve's career-best turn as the titular hitman, both prior John Wick movies have been absolutely awe-inspiring for action aficionados. I expect the trilogy's conclusion to follow suit. If you see one movie this weekend, make sure it's this one. And if you haven't seen the first two, do yourself a favor and watch them now.

The Sun Is Also a Star

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR - Official Trailer www.youtube.com


This latest big screen YA novel adaptation, The Sun Is Also a Star, follows star-crossed teen lovers Daniel Bae (Charles Melton) and Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi). He's a romantic. She's a pragmatist. Wacky hijinks ensue, mainly "will she or won't she be deported?" because, oh yeah, Natasha is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica. I doubt The Sun Is Also a Star will transcend its typical genre conventions, but it is nice to see a mainstream teen romance starring two minority characters.

A Dog's Journey

A Dog's Journey - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com


Look, I don't know who keeps watching these dog movies. Are they for children? Do children love watching Dennis Quaid playing with dogs? I have no idea, but apparently, A Dog's Purpose did well enough that it got a sequel, and this is it. Based on the trailer, the dog's purpose was to hang out with Dennis Quaid in the first movie, and now its purpose is to hang out with Dennis Quaid's grandkid. So if you fall into the cross-section of people who love dogs and people who love Dennis Quaid, I guess this franchise is perfect for you.

LIMITED RELEASE:

The Souvenir

The Souvenir | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com

Director Joanna Hogg presents a memoir-esque drama/mystery about a young film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) who enters into a complex relationship with an older man (Tom Burke) against her mother's (Tilda Swinton––Honor's real-life mom) wishes. The trailer looks great and initial reviews suggest that The Souvenir is a masterful narrative work. If it wasn't coming out on the same weekend as John Wick 3, I'd definitely be seeing it.

The Professor

THE PROFESSOR Official Trailer (2019) Johnny Depp Movie HD www.youtube.com


Remember when Johnny Depp was a bankable star? Remember when the quality of his roles went downhill but he was still doing mainstream Blockbuster fares like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. Well, those days are gone. Now, Johnny Depp is starring in The Professor, a surefire future entry on every bad movie podcast in existence. The premise seems to be that a professor, played by Johnny Depp, responds to a cancer diagnosis by being a big annoying asshole to everyone around him. "He's smoking weed? IN CLASS?!?!? WUUUUUUUT!"


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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Once a century, or maybe even once a millennium, a movie franchise arises that can do no wrong. That movie franchise is here, and it is John Wick.

His first two movies brought us the best action sequences in Hollywood history, chief among them the Red Circle scene.

Now John Wick returns once again as prophesied in the Book of John, and here is the trailer:

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019 Movie) New Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry www.youtube.com

The new John Wick trailer is perfect, and none shall rival it. Do not bear false witness against John Wick by even trying to argue there are better action movie trailers. There are not. Unless those trailers are also for John Wick.

This trailer is jam-packed with so much badassery that it would take an entire film to unpack it, and that film is John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. As mere mortals and purveyors of the good word of Wick, we can only try. How about that scene where John Wick threw a bunch of knives into a guy, over and over again? Wasn't that neat? Or the scene where Halle Berry and her dog annihilated a dude? That's exciting. There's a motorcycle sword fight, a duel in an art exhibit, literal ballet. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum brings us all these gifts and more.

Gaze upon the new John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum trailer above and fall to your knees, for John Wick arrives in theaters May 17th.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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