17 May, 2019 — By Dan Carrier
Keanu Reeves in John Wick
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER THREE PARABELLUM
Directed by Chad Stahelski
THE great kung fu movies tend to go overload with the amazing fight choreography but lay it on top of a parable with a good-guy story at its heart. Think of films by the likes of Donnie Yen and the younger Jackie Chan – away from the acrobatic, athletic violence, there is a fairytale tucked inside.
This third instalment of the Keanu Reeves vehicle about killer-for-hire John Wick has plenty of the kung fu fight scene stuff – it feels like every frame has a stunt – but the message beneath it all is not quite clear. Maybe there isn’t one.
Wick is on the run, with just one safe haven in the world – the Continental Hotel in New York, run by comrade Winston (Ian McShane).
Apparently he has done in an assassin from the High Table gang, a type of international Freemasons of paid killers. It means he no longer enjoys their protection and there is a bounty on his head of $14million, and at every corner, at every turn, under every bed, there is a tooled-up, ninja-skilled psychopath wanting to collect.
With an excellent supporting cast – Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Laurence Fishburne – and a big-budget action sensibility, this two-hour fight scene will certainly satisfy the Wick fans.
Particularly nice is the analogue world of old telephones and chalk boards on the one hand, and then a Modernism to the sets with interiors designed to ensure there is as much glass to be thrown through as possible.
Perhaps not as neo-noir as the previous two films, it is unashamedly comic book, and for that works very well.