For a bizarre family this movie is pretty normal.
This is what usually happens: a film creates a compelling fantasy world and fans clamor for more. So sequels build that world out, they show more of its mechanics, its people, its history. But “John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum” demonstrates one little acknowledged principle of escalated world building: the inevitable outcome is bureaucracy.
Any fantasy (and the Wick-verse is as fantastical as any franchise) relies as much on what it doesn’t reveal as on what it does, leaving enough to the…
The first scene is a shocker: genuinely moving, actually thoughtful and, for once, serene. And there are a bunch more of these throughout the film, where the filmmaking is really insightful, and manages to peel back the overarticulated world building to some kind of authentic emotional core.
But these moments are repeatedly and wrecklessly undermined—even betrayed, you could say—by clumsy histrionics, numbingly apocalyptic battles, tediously explicated time travel rules, and interludes of leavening humor that have by now become tiresomely…