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ACTION ALL THE WAY

Saturday, May 18, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum
Director:
Chad Stahelski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ian McSshane, Halle Berry, Asia Kate Dillion and others
Rating: * * 1/2

Chad Stahelski orchestrates very stylish mayhem in John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum. The Latin word parabellum meaning ‘prepare for war,’ undoubtedly implies, there are more films to come in this franchise, starring Keanu Reeves, with a terribly unflattering hair cut topping his deadpan face. The hitman character he plays, is indestructible—killers come at him with guns, swords, knives, and martial arts chops, and the guy survives it all, with just a finger lost, and that he cuts off himself.

The third Chapter begins where the last one ended—with Wick being excommunicated from the global community of assassins called the High Table, and with a $14 million "open contract" on his head. Without wasting any time the film goes into gory action mode, with a fight sequence in a library and then a thrilling chase in a stable, as killers come out to hunt him and claim the bounty.

When he goes to seek safe passage out of America, the scene with an unrecognisable Angelica Huston is played out with ballet dancers in the background.  When visual flair is the film’s calling card, everything looks elegant or exotic. One of the assassins after Wick, a chef named Zero (Mark Dacascos), expertly cuts blowfish and offers it to his guest—and if not done right, it can kill.

As Wick makes his way to Morocco in search of the man who will give him a second chance, a sleek “Adjudicator” (Asia Kate Dillon) goes about dispensing custom-made punishment to those who helped Wick – the list includes Winston (Ian McShane), manager of The Continental, a “consecrated” Table safe zone, and Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne); perhaps in a future film, Halle Berry’s dog-loving, overacting Sofia will pay for her transgression.

While Wick fans revel in the action set pieces, during which a lot of glass shatters, The Continental is trashed with unholy glee, and men drop dead like flies, there is some nonsensical plotting, dialogue uttered with pseudo profundity and the silliness of Wick being given instructions on how to find his possible savior in the midst of the Sahara.

Four writers, including Derek Kolstad, the creator of the character, work on the film, with the heavy lifting being done by fight choreographer Jonathan Eusebio, cinematographer Dan Laustsen and  production designer Kevin Kavanaugh.

There is nothing but violence in the film, and after a point, the question arises: is it fun watching hundreds of people being killed?  Can anyone even remember what happens and why a few hours after watching it? Probably not. 

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