Movie Review
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
John Wick 3 poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published May 20, 2019
US Release: May 17, 2019

Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves

Running Time: 130 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $170,179,000
Initial fight sequences may be inventive and brutal, but by the midsection itís all the same impersonalized video game dreck.
I once said Ė in regards to the vaunted Wachowski siblings and their movie Jupiter Ascending Ė that if you wanted to make good films, itís best to keep your dick. John Wick 3: Parabellum is the opposite end of this particular spectrum: There very well may be entirely too much dick on display. But this is a curious dick; it starts out sweet and inventive, but the deeper it goes, the more rancid and missionary it ends up being. In other words, it starts out hard and ends up limp.

Now despite this being one of the most monumentous cinematic events of the last 162 years, JW3 actually left me cold. Kind of like all the pretty neon lighting that rims every scene in a halogen bloodbath glow, itís all sterile style with a serious lack of substance to give it the weight it desperately craves. Itís ďall action,Ē yes, but that fact doesnít make for a satisfying narrative movie experience.

Initial fight sequences may be inventive and brutal, but by the midsection itís all the same impersonalized video game dreck; and you donít even get to feel the connection of holding a controller and playing it. What Iím trying to say is, itís like watching another person playing a bad video game. You might as well sip a 40-ounce, smoke a fat blunt, and watch your homie play Mortal Kombat 62 from the comfort of whomeverís couch.

Acting? You want to actually talk acting? Itís Keanu freaking Reeves in the lead. Heís known for bad acting and sometimes really good movies; this flick only has half of that equation. He sounds like a person who is Ė above all Ė constipated. Laurence Fishburne gets short-shrift in this piece; heís only allowed to appear briefly, and at the end, they whip him back out for a non-surprising ďsurpriseĒ final scene. 20 years ago, Laurence and Keanu were in a groundbreaking motion picture called The Matrix. Now they are in a movie together which apes the fighting style of that previous picture, but has zero of the intelligence, philosophy, panache, depth or likeability. Itís almost like they got old and donít have the juice anymoreÖand thatís unfortunate. This ainít even as good as The Matrix Revolutions. Thereís also this short-haired, vaguely intimidating chick in the film who I guess is supposed to be like the substitute for Trinity. She shows up, looks dangerous, constantly makes threats to the main characters, but never seems to end up actually doing anything. Also Halle Berry shows up, sporting an obvious wig that is honestly just out of her age range. How could you not be thinking Catwoman when youíre watching this? Her big random action scene with Keanu is amongst the movieís least engaging sequences. Didnít need to be there.

Basically, this movie sucks, and critics giving it high praises all-around are Ė in fact Ė wrong. The fight scene with Keanu and a giant man in a library is quality violence; the rest of the flick is un-quality-everything (except cinematography). The storytelling is ham-handed, and in general this series just doesnít need to exist. Iím glad Keanu has successfully made another trilogy to go along with The Matrix, as well as the long-awaited, upcoming third installment of the Bill and Ted franchiseÖBut I think he should be picking better scripts. Just my opinion.
Scott's Grade: C
Scott's Overall Grading: 417 graded movies
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