Movie review: “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum” (2019)

“Your ticket is torn. You may never return home.”

What the John Wick sequels have lacked in conventional story, they have more than made up for in sheer architecture, grafting additional layers of cold-blooded and/or cutthroat bureaucracy and attendant intrigue onto the original’s stylish if still fairly straightforward tale of revenge. Who knew the international hitman community required such substantial infrastructure to operate, or that the phrase “honor among thieves” translated so elegantly to professional killers as well? There are lots of moving parts in any John Wick sequel – a good many of them invisible, it turns out – and, whether airborne or spent, only (approximately) 70% are bullets. Seeing as the original presented him as a gun-toting tsunami in human form, the sequels, for their sometimes glaring flaws, have also been effective at ratcheting up Wick’s external threat level to a somewhat plausible sustained plateau of omnipresent, multi-directional incoming danger Continue reading “Movie review: “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum” (2019)”

Movie review: “John Wick” (2014)

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“In a bar, I once saw him kill three men…with a pencil.”

The lethal former mob enforcer John Wick has much in common with the movie that bears his name. Both are lean, laconic and single-minded, heroically overachieving corpse production engines that run with understated flair and ruthless efficiency. Where the man and the vehicle diverge is in the realm of public regard. John Wick is a truly legendary killer, the type of cold steel assassin whose very mention gives significant pause to the most fearless, formidable and blood-thirsty bosses, hit men and goons the underworld could possibly belch up, a man whose reputation not only precedes him but armors and enhances him against his enemies, who are both legion and, amusingly enough, overmatched. Continue reading “Movie review: “John Wick” (2014)”