Stanley Scorsese’s review published on Letterboxd:
The first two films of the John Wick series were absolutely fantastic! They’ve had the magic of kicking so much ass with the amount of gunplay and hand to hand combat! While John Wick: Chapter 3 does as well, it has not much of a good story. And I’ll explain this in my review.
John Wick: Chapter 3 continues the saga as the hitman goes on the run after killing a mob boss of the High Table with a $14 million bounty on him.
Before I go see John Wick: Chapter 4 tonight, I have time to talk about the third film. This has been an absolute, all around amazing time! I wish I had got into them before I knew this would have its own film series! The first film, I’ve enjoyed. The second film was far better by comparison. And the third film? Well… it has its moments of good, but it could’ve been better. I wasn’t bored with it at all, it still has amazing action scenes, glorious cinematography and a good sense of humor. But I felt it dragging a bit for a two and a half hour runtime. So let’s talk about John Wick: Chapter 3.
For the positives, four of the main stars are back to reprise their characters. Including Keanu Reeves, of course. You also have the beautiful Halle Berry, Asia Kate Dillon, Angelica Huston, Saïd Taghmaoui and a surprise cameo from NBA star, Boban Marjanović! Berry plays Sofia Al-Azwar, an ex-assassin and former friend of John Wick who runs the Continental in Casablanca, Morocco. Huston plays The Director, the crime boss of Ruska Roma crime syndicate. And Dillon plays The Adjudicator, a woman who resigns the positions of those who helped John Wick while he was labeled excommunicado.
Now I’m going to talk about the positives in one sitting as much as I can. The acting from the cast is fine, I’m not saying it’s mediocre or just plain bad. It’s just fine. The fight choreography is excellent and awesome as always, the cinematography continues to be glorious and the film continues to have the dry humor. For the fight scenes, I love see them being upgraded. You get to see John Wick fight someone with a book in a library, you get to see him ride a horse in the streets of New York, and you still get to see him fuck people up! I also like to see Charon have his time to shine when he’s capping motherfuckers with John Wick!
For the negatives, it’s mostly the runtime. The film’s runtime relies on more fight sequences than just relying on the story. I’m in the minority for saying this because people who watch the John Wick movies are there to watch the badass fighting sequences, and I guarantee you that you’ll be happy with John Wick: Chapter 3. But I liked the stories and the knowledge from the first two films where there was a lot to learn about the Continental and everything that was expanded. In here, the story is used less and is relied on the fight choreography. So the story was just a disappointment for me. It just felt it was unnecessary and utterly and absolutely wasteful.
Another negative was I didn’t like how it ended. And it’s with the plausibility. I’ve never had a problem with that in the first two movies because they were grounded to reality, even though things was over the top. But in John Wick: Chapter 3, it shows John being shot by Winston and he falls onto the street where he should’ve died. Immediately, I called bullshit when he survives. And before Winston shoots John, things change up where John was to kill Winston so he could serve the High Table. But he has a change of heart and both of them fight the High Table. It just didn’t make any sense to me, the struggles and pain John endures to save his life, he just tosses it away within 5 minutes in the third act. That easily could’ve been replaced that something else added in there!
Overall, I’ll probably get by watching John Wick: Chapter 3 in the future. I was disappointed with how it turned out and I wish it was a lot better than it was. Now it’s not the worst of the series, it’s just my least favorite after seeing where it ended up. So if you’re new to the franchise, like myself, and you’re gearing up to see John Wick: Chapter 4, I would suggest to check this out. But don’t get your hopes up with it.
I’m giving John Wick: Chapter 3 3.5 stars!