John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum ★★★½


"Tick tock, John Wick."

Yeah, he's thinking he's back. Keanu Reeves said something along these lines when he announced he was making a comeback in a major action film. John Wick became a surprise hit, with a striving realism for action scenes that set it apart, in addition with a strong story and a emotional core to it that resonated to many. It had a high class feel to the action scenes, and it's clearly backed by patient world-building in which it successfully conveys the world that John Wick lives in. Certainly, the sequel is equally fantastic in my eyes, but I'm honestly surprised by how cold this left me.

Where the first two films had nice character moments, this felt way too mechanical as the characterization disappears for the most part. It's always kept busy by the constant action scenes that would keep your interest as it did. Yet, at the end, I declared, "That's it?" I wasn't a big fan of how this film spends most of its time writing itself out of the hole that the previous sequel dug, yet the word consequences are thrown around. Perhaps I'm missing something, because it does feel like it's missing that emotional core that the first two films had. I cared yet was enthralled by the action scenes for the first two films; but instead I was only enthralled yet cared little.

Make no mistake, even with easily the weakest narrative in the series so far, the action scenes are gorgeous. The cinematography is just next level. The set piece at the Continental is easily the best the series has ever been. A lot of storytelling going on there, and it's just all A+++++ stuff. Dan Lausten and Chad Stahelski are at the top of their respective games, they both did a great job despite being handed an iffy script that's too focused on undoing the events of the previous film. The world-building feels as flimsy as ever, and it's kind of a let down given how much more I wanted to see from this world.