I remember watching the trailer for the first John Wick and sharing it with my friends, saying “this will be amazing”. And it was. What a mind blower.
Then the second one appeared, and my disapointment starting too. The problem with the second one is mostly a very bad marketing and wrong trailer more than something with the movie itself. Everything was pointing to John Wick being “excommunicado”, so that is what I was expecting to see. Instead, the movie was offering another story and the excommunicado part was just a cliff-hanger for John Wich Chapter 3. And the same things happen again in John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum, what I was expecting to see will probably happen in John Wick: Chapter 4. Yes, you read me well, chapter 3 ends again on cliffhanger pushing for a 4th movie. But that is just me, and that is not the problem, let’s talk about what makes it disappointing.
In John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum, John Wick is about to be excommunicado and he needs to find a way to escape all the killers who will be after him. All the people who helped him in the past are also in danger and John tries to find a way to be redeemed and cancel the contract on his head. The movie starts very well as you can feel the pressure of the contract coming on John Wick’s head. Running into New-York and time’s running out. It is hard to know what he got in his sleeves and what he is planning to do. Finding some friends and help but how?
The movie is 131 minutes and feels a bit long sometimes. Not every scene seems necessary and most of the movie is honestly fighting scenes. Which is definitely the good and bad part of the movie.
When John Wick seemed to be straight to the point in the previous movies, he seems to be missing the point in most of that third chapter. Half of the time he, or even the bad guys, forget that they have guns or to take guns from bodies on the floor. And even when they finally think of it, about half of the shots are in the chest and in the legs. The one in the head come at best as the 3rd or 4th shot, only to end the fight.
That also points to the second issue: tolerance to pain. Except if you have armor, a point-blank shot in the chest, even with a bulletproof vest, will most likely knock you down. In Chapter 3, a point-blank in the chest without a vest will barely give you a scratch. Fight scenes can be 5 to 10min of 2 or 3 people punching each other as hard as they can, without any spill of blood or broken bones.
Because John does not have a gun most of the time, you also have a lot of those situations where 5 people want to stop him, but they will come one after the other or two by two, while the others are just waiting their turn in the background.
This all gives very nice choreographed scenes but so unrealistically that it pulls me off the movie more than once.
The world of John Wick
The city of New-York where the movie set place is also very interesting and strange at the same time. There seems to be an assassin in every corner of the city, which definitely show the pressure on John’s shoulder. It also offers an interesting vision of this under-world with their own rules and no way to escape them. However, what is strange is the fact that not a single policeman is visible during the entire movie, whatever happens. You can think that this secret organization got the cops under-control, but that would mean that this organization is not that secret.
The writers definitely tried to explain a bit more about that secret organization, which is a good thing, but forget to make any connection with our own world. Which not only would have been a plus, but also make a bit of sense.
John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum is a very fun and entertaining movie, but the story once again, seems very slow to show up and stretched over multiple movies. The fight scenes were probably meant to be even more incredible, but that all just turned out as punching bags fight until John Wick put the other guys K.O, one after the other, waiting nicely in line. With a good story-telling and more realistic fights, the movie would definitely be marvellous.
For me, John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum is another step down after the one from Chapter 2.
If I would put John Wick 1 a 5/5, and Chapter 2 a 4/5, that one would probably get a 3 or 3.5 at best.