Adds Slight Bit Of Camp;
To Its Winning Formula;
And Keeps Hitting Hard.
When you go see a John Wick movie, you know exactly what you’re signing up for, and the team involved is more than willing to beat you over the head with what you came to see. Namely, Keanu Reeves killing a whole lot of people in brilliantly-choreographed scenes awash in bright lights and dark colors. And, of course, a cute dog.
Picking up right where Chapter 2 left off, there is no wasted time here, as the action comes fast and furious and rarely lets up over the next two hours. It’s revels gloriously in over-the-top violence and is at times borderline absurd, but in the best possible ways. It’s like watching Crank, except our hero needs no gimmick in order to exact such a costly toll of human life. He’s just the best assassin ever born and everyone in the room knows it.
The production design is awesome, continuing the tradition of giving us a fully-immersive look into the criminal underworld this franchise has created. It is a great combination of an old school look (particularly aspects of The Continental) with new school sensibilities, and really helps you lose yourself in the environment. Hundreds and hundreds of people are being shot, stabbed, slashed, hit by cars, etc. A high speed chase on a bridge under construction involves a gang of ninja bikers and a horse. No cops are anywhere to be found, but you don’t care because the world they present is so believable. Plus, it makes you think…if the NYPD can ignore something like a John Wick killing spree, how much worse must it be in other parts of the city?
The best thing the film does that isn’t related to endlessly creative bloodshed (seriously, the book? While IN the library?!) is add a great amount of camp and self-aware humor to the whole picture. It is quite funny at times and knows exactly how ridiculous it is, but walks the line admirably and never veers too hard into campy territory. Hell, when fellow assassins stop fighting to tell Wick they are huge fans, it may as well come with a fourth-wall breaking nod and a wink, but good sense prevails. With all the death going on, however, some levity is appreciated and it’s executed as well as Wick executes people who hurt his dog.
The larger cast of peripheral characters suggests that this franchise will continue to evolve and move forward and I’m all for it. With such good choreography, memorable fights/deaths, smooth editing that never jars you out of the action and a roaring sense of fun, John Wick, the Baba Yaga himself, is here to stay.
Have you seen John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum? What did you think? Drop a comment below and head over to our Facebook Community for much more discussion!