Introducing the third instalment of the franchise which reintroduced the world to sick action fights after countless failed attempts from flicks gone by. Parabellum saw ex-assassin John Wick on the run after a 14-million-dollar bounty was put on his head, cue some outrageously choreographed fight scenes and no-nonsense catchphrases.
Unfortunately, it seems that John Wick has gone the way of countless action films before it and has become repetitive, inconsistent and overall a little bit dull. Which believe me, is painful to say.
What made this series so amazing in the beginning was the fight sequences which didn’t rely on a thousand camera angle changes, cheap explosions and ridiculous death rolls to entertain us. Characters were swift-footed, clever, and audiences actually got to watch the fights play out in detail: from the martial arts inspired movements to the clever rationing of bullets. John Wick was a turning point in the action film genre, making fight scenes juicy and engaging rather than drawn out and unbelievable.
I don’t know whether the franchise ran out of steam or suffered a severe lack in judgement when it came to their latest release, but these action sequences were nothing like the originals. Apart from one particularly entertaining knife fight in the first 15 minutes, the film resorted to the same action tropes which gave the genre a bad name. Heroes seemed to have an unlimited supply of bullets and shot randomly into the darkness, only to hit every shot, while their adversaries had the combat skills of a blind lemur holding a pistol for the first time. The sequences were drawn out without actually containing any memorable moments, and I found myself actually wishing the fights would just end, which is a night and day feeling compared to the series’ previous additions.
The film almost, somewhat, redeemed itself with their ending by presenting a huge plot twist which sent our protagonist tumbling to his death at the hands of a would-be ally. The moment was shocking, without being unrealistic, and would have been a crazy but ultimately satisfying way to end the series.
But no. The film once again took an unfortunate leaf from previous action flicks and had two main characters survive un-survivable situations purely to drag out the franchise into another movie. How unoriginal.
Overall this film was extremely disappointing and made me wish that John Wick had died outside the dog shelter at the end of the first flick to spare audiences from the eye-rolling films that followed.