John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is the best action movie since 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, offering a killer combination of slick visuals, jaw-dropping fight choreography and stunts, and memorable characters who permeate the action and give it meaning.
Coupled with the arrival of the fasting month, I couldn't even find the time to see all the movies I'd like to see that opened last week, particularly The Hustle, which is reportedly a female-centred remake of the classic 80s comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. "There were various guttural noises like "Ohh" and" mmm" coming from the audience during every action scene that theatres might have to start putting do not disturb signs on the doors.
While Wick hunts down the Elder - with the assistance of fellow assassin and dog lover Sofia (Halle Berry) - the Adjudicator hires Zero (Mark Dacascos) to go after Wick with his own team, setting up a dramatic confrontation that - presumably - will bring the conflict to a close, or at least set up a lot of fight scenes. "We did the first one, and my co-director at the time Dave Leitch (Deadpool 2), we finished the movie, watched the first cut, and we were already looking for second unit jobs". "There's a musicality and wit to the action that only the "Mission: Impossible" series can equal".
Then, Russell touched on "Dogs Journey", the sequel to "A Dog's goal". The audience which joined me in the theater emitted audible sounds of satisfaction on a number of occasions, particularly when a faceless goon was dispatched in a particularly gruesome way, and they were paced out in a way that made it easy to follow who was attacking who at any given moment (no mean feat in an era of dark cinematography and hyper-kinetic editing). What makes it work so well is a combination of Reeves's performance and the writing.
The "John Wick" franchise has settled on three core reasons to continue. No matter how many of their buddies they see Wick easily kill, they're as eager as ever to jump right in and take Wick on, usually one-on-one. With John Wick, fans believe Reeves finally has the success he has deserved for so long, although knowing the seasoned, veteran actor that he is, I'm sure Reeves is beyond such acclaim. This, too, was probably inevitable. Stahelski and Kolstad doubled-down on the non-stop, exquisitely choreographed bloodshed in the sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 while exploring the mythological, hyper-real criminal underworld John Wick inhabits.
That was, essentially, the entire plot of John Wick-well, that and watching Keanu be equal parts amusing, mopey, and brutal. There were crime lords and goons of various kinds, but it was a fundamentally grounded story. "Keanu and I have sat with that creative element, and laid out what we feel makes John Wick special, and what would make the TV show unique".
John Wick director Chad Stahelski added that the film series is so successful partly because of how it's been cast. John Wick has lore, man.
If John Wick is Death Wish by way of Le Samouraï, and Chapter 2 is Wanted, then Chapter 3 - Parabellum is The Raid or, more specifically, The Raid 2 - a staggering ballet of brutality with a sweeping scope that justifies its 131-minute runtime.
And, like most good horror films, the acting really sells the emotions here, as the parents wrestle with the thought of having an evil kid, and struggle with what to do when that thought really hits home as their biggest fears come true.