There’s a question nobody’s asking, but is important to ponder over: If two people existed without laws over them, could they walk together unless agreeing to do so? The answer is right in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
First step to answering the question above, it’s good to analyze the extremely weak relationships that continue to build up John Wick’s misadventures. Instead of allowing a sense of soul, priority goes to the heavy action, even sacrificing heart for the sake of tension or comedy. As effective as it may be, there’s virtually no attention to story arcs, blood is even allowed to splatter on the lens as a glamorization of dying very graphically. Though this movie has many cases of that beautified murder left and right, especially throughout a chase on a closed bridge that ensures the chasers have it all to themselves to do whatever they want.
Second, none of the conversations these so-called “characters” hold with one another establish any real conflict. In one crucial scene when John gets an upside-down crucifix burnt onto his back, it feels more like a mere video game cutscene than a character study. Anjelica Huston in particular drags things down to borderline absurdity with her bad accent that almost worsens the dialogue. Although in complete fairness, this screenplay still contains the same amount of verbal exposition as a classic stylistic action piece of the late 90’s, The Matrix’s… that being, too much.
Third, a positive quality this time, the audio artistry of this film has a full, complete trinity of design work. Point one: John actually rides a horse down the streets of New York to flee motorcycles, in any other production this would be absolutely ridiculous, but the soundtrack makes this somehow a cool moment! Point two: the theater seat pulses as everything from the speakers go BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Point three: The noise of glass shattering draws focus onto anticipations framed behind the subjects to make the viewer think, “Ooh! This will be a wicked fight!”
Fourth, the production design of old green marble serves as the perfect stage of memorable hand-to-hand combat. After an opening race against the clock to stir up fury, every set piece looks orderly while deceptively spiteful, the most impactful one being some glass stairs that symbolize transparent vulnerability. All the classy violence that happens inside and outside these walls stays consistently fresh even when guns clash amidst dungeon-like horse stables immediately before the provocative image of a backlit ballerina. Then, it’s all drowned out by the end when the mega techno colors melt into a sharp green climax. It’s the perfect balance between serene and gruesome imagery to generate strong depictions of pain; colors are heard, beats are seen, a visual-audio combo producing something wicked. Congratulations to everyone on the production crew!
Fifth, a negative this time, as much as this movie tries to depict what a potential war breakout could look like, it fails. Now, here’s a joke: Knock, knock. Who’s there? Iran. Iran who? I ran far away, because America may go to war against Iran soon, possibly starting a disturbance called, “WWIII.” War is no laughing manner, and this pretty picture about a man named John isn’t nearly as prophetic as a number of scenes featuring people from the Middle East make you believe. It can’t be relevant for today, considering it can’t even settle on a time period to take place in. Which is it? The 1980’s? The 2000s? The 1970’s? The 1940’s? The series’ attempt at style by incorporating technological elements from different decades doesn’t serve any real purpose for whatever theme it wants to generate… the fact that a horse shed exists in the middle of freaking New York City doesn’t help!
Sixth, and this is the entire series’ biggest drawback, despite its miraculous theatrical wonder, John Wick’s journey still winds up being pure unadulterated nonsense. This is a reality where time doesn’t exist, an assassin can get away with murder, and passersby at a train station never notice two guys within a crowd trying to kill one another. There’s never a grounding of logic or reality, even by the standards of its own fantasized world—almost nobody ever runs out of ammo unless by plot demands! Instead, it’s all style and no coherence, its stylized closed captions leaving more sensitive viewers eye-hurt from the overly excessive adrenaline.
Again: If two people existed without laws over them, could they walk together unless agreeing to do so? Well, think of it this way: one cannot stretch beyond limitations, others must agree upon those limits decided by authority. Thus, based on the way John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum encourages a chaotic existence where everyone wants to hurt each other, the answer is undeniably no.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
John Wick 3. Lionsgate. Web. <https://www.johnwick.movie/>.
Worthington, Clint. “Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, and two Good Boys in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum.” Digital image. The Spool. Pixelgrade, 10 May 2019. Web. <https://thespool.net/movies/2019/05/john-wick-chapter-3-parabellum-review/>.