John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019)

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Picking up precisely where the last film left off, John Wick: Chapter 3 sees our stoic, dog-loving hit-man on the run from, well, everyone. He broke the rules of the assassins guild, and he now has a massive price on his head. But he’s not out of options. He does have some allies, including the director of a special ballet academy (Anjelica Huston), who grants him safe passage to Morocco. Once there, John seeks out the assistance of Sofia (Halle Berry), a woman whose daughter he saved years ago, and who knows the location of “The Elder,” the leader of the assassins guild who can hopefully remove the price from his head. But before he can get there, he’s going to have to shoot, stab, and even book, yes, book, hundreds of people to death. And, in the end, will it be worth it? Watch the movie to find out.

John Wick: Chapter 3 is proof that this series is no fluke. This neon-drenched, high-octane franchise, where long takes, real stunts, and breathtaking choreography are at the front and center, is now officially the benchmark for all up-and-coming action directors to aspire to. This is easily the best film in the series as far as action is concerned. There are so many pulse-pounding, head-thumping sequences in this movie, including a knife fight in a museum, a brawl in a stable where John uses a horse to kill assailants, and an astonishing shootout in Casablanca that, by the end, my jaw needed to be picked up off the floor. Based on action and entertainment value alone, this flick is more than worth the price of a ticket. But, thankfully, it has more than just cool fight scenes to offer. As with the previous two films, it has really good acting as well. Something that I really admire about the John Wick franchise is how it has been able to give older, or perhaps somewhat down-on-their-luck thespians, such as Franco Nero, Halle Berry, and John Leguizamo, the chance to shine again. And believe me when I say that everyone in this movie has at least one awesome moment. Berry, especially, deserves praise here. I’d seen promotional videos claiming that she’d done a lot of training for this role, but I didn’t know how evident that would be in the movie. I’ll tell you right now; super evident. She is FANTASTIC in the fight scenes. There are so many long, unbroken takes where you can tell that she is throwing every punch, firing every shot, and sweeping every leg. It is beyond impressive that she and Keanu, both of whom are in their 50s, are able to do these things that I, as a 23-year-old, certainly couldn’t. For their work, the incredible action scenes, and the fact that the film is actually pretty funny, I definitely think you should give it a watch.

Now, all that said, this flick isn’t perfect. It’s easily the weakest of the series as far as the story is concerned. There isn’t really a single, over-arching plot. John does things in the heat of the moment, in response to direct threats. But there’s very little connective tissue between those threats. They’re just random action scenes that are tossed at him fast and thick. On top of this, he makes huge, life-changing decisions, only to go back on them just a few minutes later. As a result, when you think back on the film after it’s over, you realize that the first half is more or less pointless. What I mean is, John goes to Anjelica Huston to get to Halle Berry. He goes to Halle Berry so he can find the Elder, and, hopefully, have the price removed from his head. The Elder says he can be forgiven if he makes a sacrifice, and does something big for him. John makes said sacrifice and sets out to do said thing, only to decide, “Nah. I don’t want to.” As a result, Anjelica Huston, Halle Berry and The Elder’s involvement in the story is rendered more or less moot. Which is frustrating, since they’re all so good. I’m just hoping that fanboys don’t do to Halle Berry what they did to Kelly Marie Tran; rip her apart because her subplot was “pointless.”

But, like I said, this film’s entertainment value, performances and sheer craftsmanship more than makeup for its narrative shortcomings. It’s fast, fierce, and ferociously fun. Don’t hesitate to give it a look.

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