Thomas 🎄’s review published on Letterboxd:
Parabellum is easily the best entry into the John Wick franchise. It raises the stakes and builds upon the lore of the films in all of the best ways possible. Not only does Chad Stahelski raise the bar of his stunt choreography, but he also really finds himself as a director in this film. His talents allows for even more gripping action and more captivating scene execution than the first two films.
While he literally says very little, John Wick speaks volumes thanks to the transcendent performance of Keanu Reeves. His flawless execution of the stunt choreography, along with his commitment to giving the role all he’s got, makes for a truly powerful character that I am excited to see more of. I’m not even worried that the sequels will be lesser in quality (okay I’m a little worried but I have faith).
Parabellum broadens the John Wick universe by showing just how immense the effects of Wick’s actions are on the entire organization that Wick has reluctantly returned to. Continuing right where the second film left off, the third chapter in Wick’s story shows how his actions have now begun to bring consequences to other characters who have chosen to aid him in his never-ending mission. These films avoid being glorifications of senseless violence by focusing on the idea of loyalty and brotherhood. Wick never acts out of greed or selfishness like the villains he has faced and he only ever drags people down with him out of complete desperation. Their agreeing to help him signifies their respect for him and their belief that he has always done right by them and their willingness to return the favor. Though its very much shown rather than told, the subtext of these films is compelling and it only gets more interesting as the films go on.
Laurence Fishburne returns with another ecstatic performance as the Bowery King. His performance really grounds the films in reality despite being so over the top. Ian McShane and Lance Reddick were also great in their returning roles and Asia Kate Dillon was a welcome presence in their new role. The standout however, was Halle Barry as Sofia, a former assassin who is 100% an ex of John’s. Her time in the film is brief but her performance leaves a lasting memory.
Keanu recently said he’d be willing to play this role as long as the fans wanted him to. I’m hoping the fourth and fifth films conclude John Wick’s story but I kinda wouldn’t even be mad if he kept doing it.