John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 7

directing 7

effects 8

editing 6

writing 6


3.5 out of 5 🐙


I can’t think of a movie I’ve had more fun with than the original installment of the John Wick trilogy. The best part was that I had not even heard of it until John Wick 2 had come out. So I got to see the first one and I was immediately treated to a sequel. For once, my uncoolness and obliviousness paid off! I thought 2nd was a fine sequel but the 1st was a supernova. Parabellum was a good addition to the franchise. The fight choreography was still inventive and fresh and brutal. The addition of Halle Berry, who played another tremendous assassin in a universe full of them, felt natural and not shoehorned like what often happens to 3rd chapters in franchises.

The things I continue to love about this franchise still made their appearance in this chapter: the wonderful aesthetic of the assassin universe, the gun kung fu style of rampage employed by John Wick, Keanu’s quiet perpetual drive, and the spare and knife edge dialogue that mimics the crystalline fight choreography.

The call out to the “we need guns” moment from The Matrix (1999) was a lovely tip to the Keanu Fandom. And the continued emphasis and use of dogs (John Wick’s dog and Halle Berry’s dogs) is great. I love dogs. You can never have too many dogs.

I thought it got heavy for the same reason it shined: the fights. By the end I was bored or fatigued with all the fights. It felt like they were trying to go bigger for bigger’s sake and I think that’s always a mistake.

I thought this was going to be the final installment in the franchise. I did not know a 4th was in the works. It’s obvious at the end of this one, of course. A sequel is set up overtly and with no subtlety. I’m actually a little curious about the 4th one, but I’m afraid the quality will slip further and this wonderful franchise will be dimmed just a bit. I will go in with an open mind and hope in my heart. For now, a good third installment is a rare feat.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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