‘I live with my mum,
And my name is John Wick
But when she tells me off,
I’m deliberately sick
And now all my friends,
They think I’m a dick!’
It’s hardly a surprise that out Editor’s attempt to be a lyricist has never rivaled that of Burt Bacharach or Stephen Sondheim and frankly his effort at being an Editor isn’t much better (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). Anyway Keanu Reeves is back on the franchise trail again with John Wick 3 : Parabellum playing the hit man still smarting from his dog getting bumped off in the first film but now finds that he has been booted out of the league of extraordinary hitman at the end of the second film and this third film finds him with a $14m bounty on his head and every lowlife in the world is coming after him. And boy do they come after him! With John Wick injured and time running out before the contract begins and it’s open season on him he runs around the city streets soaked to the skin and bleeding and then the action kicks in. The first half hour is relentless, take your breath away action and the fights are astonishingly brutal (notably an eye watering knife fight) and inventive which here includes a library book that’s used for anything but reading.
But Wick is not the only one who’s got killers after him because the ‘High Table’ the upper echelons of this hitman conglomerate who have authorized the contract on Wick have also decided that anyone who helped him out is on their hit list too as laid down by The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) who sports a haircut by a blind barber or is it looks. So on her shitlist is Ian Shane who’s to lose his job as the manager of the consecrated hotel where John offed a villain which landed him with the contract on his head. But added to this are Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King seemingly pining for the days when he was in The Matrix and had a far better wardrobe but also new to the franchise is Anjelica Huston as The Director and Halle Berry as Sofia both of which have supporting roles with Berry ‘s being set in Morocco photographed to look like a Fry’s Turkish Delight advert. But it’s Berry who looks to set out her action credentials as she did in Die Another Day (and was rumoured for a spin off that never happened) who also has a penchant for dogs with two lethal pet pooches who are included in a shoot out set piece where the dogs are as lethal as the weapons she and Wick are firing. Perhaps the most unexpected appearance is Jerome Flynn popping up sporting an Italian accent who sets the dangerous dog sequence on its course.
Director Chad Stahelski, an ex-stint man who has directed the previous two films and now ups the ante even more and there’s no denying that he has an eye for action putting together some brilliantly exhilarating set pieces but there is a sense that there’s a degree of relish in the sadism on display here with Keanu Reeves being shot, stabbed, sliced, battered , punched, thrown through plate glass repeatedly and still carries on seemingly unstoppable and there are moments of knife injuries which sit a little uneasily in the current climate of stabbings in the real world. That said at over two hours John Wick 3 is never boring and never less than a balls to the wall, pedal to the metal bullet ballet.
Here’s the John Wick 3 trailer…….