Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war. My review of John Wick Chapter 3 Para Bellum.
I’ve been absolutely Enthralled with the world that Chad Stahelski and his team crafted with John Wick. I love absolutely everything about the franchise. It exudes style, elegance, intelligence, and this in your face attitude, that I just can’t get enough. I’ve read the comic and purchased the sound tracks. I’ve seen the films multiple times, in and out of theaters. Most recently it was with a group of friends who had not seen them before. I love watching people get their cherries popped by the boogieman. I can’t wait to take my father to see the third one next Tuesday. It truly is a family film. Enough reminiscing and onto the review.
John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum, as taken from the Latin adage Si Wis Pacem Para Bellum, is indeed that. A preparation for war. If you’re familiar with the franchise, which I have to assume you are if you’re reading this, you know that the first film set-up multiple threads, things that we really did not get the payoff to till the second film. And the second installment also expanded the world surrounding The Continental and the order of Assassins. Parabellum continues that trend. Introducing a slew of new locations and characters, as well as a providing glimpse into John Wick’s past. It also serves as a precursor to a fourth installment. Which I’m only saying as it seems to be the first question anyone has asked me after I’ve talked to them about it. Apart from a fourth installment, I believe the studio is still planning to do a television spin off called The Continental.
Parabellum is a masterpiece, taking the phrase every frame a painting to, unexpected, unconceived, and unexplored directions. It’s really very exciting to watch. Like previous installments, it is unafraid to showcase things that other films would only allow to happen off screen. When you think John Wick the first thing that comes to mind is the fight choreography. Chad Stahelski, a former stunt man himself, takes that to new heights as well in the third installment. Those brutal, head and heart pounding moments that are followed by an exclamation from a completely unprepared and yet overjoyed audience, are all there. But don’t worry, they don’t pull a fast and the furious ten on us, where the latest film is crazier and more unrealistic than the last. It’s still all very brutal, very realistic, and as I previously stated, in your face. I fucking love it.
You may be asking, But John, how do they top the Neo and Morpheus reunion? By introducing fucking Marc Dacascos as the leader of a guild of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Loving Ninja Assassins, and Halle Berry as the manager of the Moroccan Continental.
If you were not brought up on a steady diet of 80’s and 90’s action films, you may not know who Marc Dacascos is or why it is that we lose our shit whenever we see him on screen. He is pretty much a real life ninja. He is part Japanese part Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese, was born in Honolulu Hawaii, has trained his entire life in numerous martial arts, and has appeared in a number of film and television roles ranging from the lead in the live action adaptation of the anime Crying Freeman to Only The Strong where he plays a high school teacher who is also a Capoeira Mestre. Most recently he has appeared in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and the T.V. Series Wu Assassins.
Halle Berry, Halle Berry, Halle Berry, Hallelujah! She’s amazing here. Her best performance ever. As a matter of fact, my only real complaint is that she is not in the film for very much of it’s run time. Hopefully they will remedy that in the next installment. I am also hoping for the return of Common. He was dope as Cassian.
We also get to see some of the other amazing characters in the franchise get some action. I’m not going to say who it is or what they do as to avoid spoilers. All I’m going to say is that it was awesome!
If we think back to the first John Wick we will remember that, while he did get revenge for his dogs death, had yet to reclaim his car. The second film starts off with him doing so and then turning it in to Aurelio for repairs. Chapter three continues directly where the second one ended.
Fuck me, writing this review is really hard because I do not want to spoil anything. Most of what I have said so far has been seen in the trailers, as well as the previous installments. There is so much that I want to say about Para Bellum but can’t.
One thing that the John Wick Franchise has, that may be over looked, is the sound track to each of the films. Each piece of music is meticulously chosen by American musician, producer, and composer for film, television, and video game scores Tyler Bates, to match specific scenes throughout the films. One example is Marilyn Manson’s Killing Strangers from The Pale Emperor album.
It’s pretty self explanatory
I feel as if Parabellum has the best soundtrack so far. There is none of that temp music bullshit in this franchise. If the music does not help a scene or does not go with the story, it’s not used. And yes these songs were used in the film, and perfectly so in my opinion. I love this film so much.
I guess I should wrap this review up. You don’t have to worry about sequelitis with Parabellum. It’s a fucking magnum opus, a crescendo of calculated chaos. It’s so much fun. It does not feel like a needless installment. It resolves many of the plot threads from the previous films, while simultaneously setting up new ones. It’s all part of Chad Stahelski’s grand design. I have no idea how it’s going to culminate, the only thing we know for sure, is that the High Table has too much power and has to go. Will John finally fun his way back out of the life of the assassins? That is the question that we will hopefully get an answer to in a fourth and possibly final film installment. A fourth installment that hinges on us my friends and readers. We have to do our part by going out and watching the fuck out of Parabellum, and getting as many people as possible to do the same. If you are a fan of the franchise, and need to see how this story ends, you need to join John in taking down The High Table. He can’t do it without us.
This film gets my highest recommendation.