Blake Kavan

Blake Kavan

After taking the world by storm in the low-budget, seemingly out-of-nowhere action palooza “John Wick” in 2014, it’s time for the third installment of the franchise in “John Wick 3: Parabellum.”

Picking up where things left off in “John Wick 2,” Wick (Keanu Reeves) is excommunicado by the High Table — an elite society of assassins — as he’s a wanted man by every hitman around the world with a $14 million dollar bounty on his head. Wick cannot turn a corner without a knife or gun being pointed to his head.

While Wick fends off as many hitmen as he can, even he knows when he’s bit off more than he can chew. He seeks help in the Director (Anjelica Huston), a woman connected to Wick’s childhood, who safely guides Wick to escape to Casablanca in one piece.

Wick isn’t done asking for favors yet, though. Once in Casablanca, he confides in an old “friend” in Sofia (an incredible Halle Berry). Sofia, an assassin, once reached out to Wick for help years ago in protecting her daughter. Reluctantly, Sofia is willing to pay off her debt to Wick with the hopes of never seeing him again.

What is Sofia’s task? To travel with Wick to find the leader of the High Table, so Wick can, by some miracle, reverse his excommunicado status.

Of course, Wick has an enemy he isn’t even aware of in the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon). She sees to it that rules are followed, and Wick murdering a man in the Continental (a hotel for assassins where “no business can be conducted”) in the previous film leads to consequences the Adjudicator must enforce.

The stakes have never been higher, and Wick has never been in more danger, as he must fend off assassins from all over the world, including the Adjudicator, in his quest to find the leader of the High Table to stay alive and live for the memory of his late wife.

Every second of this film’s 131-minute duration is absolute bonkers. The “downtime” in “John Wick 3” consists of Wick catching his breath in the alley after he took out the last five assassins after him. It’s not in the realm of possibility to find a film with more action.

That said, this is the most gruesome and gory film of the trilogy. It’s certainly not a film for the faint of heart, with knives and library books being used like you’ve never seen before.

The reason this film, and the entire trilogy for that matter, works so well is because of Keanu Reeves. This is a role Reeves was born to play. His Wick character is a broken man with nothing to live for, but at the same time, everything to live for. We sense his pain and agony in every knife-throw and machine guns blazing.

With so much action, “John Wick 3” will be over in what will seem like minutes after you sank in your comfy theater seat. This is a film designed for a certain demographic, and if that demographic describes you, sit back and enjoy one of the greatest action franchises in the history of cinema.

Grade: A

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