I’m a big fan of the John Wick franchise, I believe that the first film is one of the best action films of all time, and the second film is brilliant as well. So, did the third one impress? For the most part, yes. However, I do feel that this is the weakest of the three films, and the franchise is now starting to show signs of getting stale.
John Wick Chapter 3 kicks off directly after the events of the second film, so it’s important to note that this isn’t something that you can just jump in to without prior knowledge, if you do, you won’t have a bloody clue what’s going on! John Wick is desperately trying to escape the vast array of assassins who want a piece of the bounty on his head, which leads him on a quest to try and clear his name. It’s a pretty basic plot, but it’s handled well enough.
Of course, we all see John Wick films for their action, and it’s here in abundance. However, my biggest qualm with this film is that it appeared to play it’s best cards way too early. The action sequences in the opening act are incredible, they are brutal, and I winced on more than one occasion. After the thrill of this opening half an hour, I found myself wondering how they were ever going to top that level of action, quite simply, they didn’t. This was a shame, because none of the action afterwards was badly executed and it was still very entertaining, but I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed regardless of this. I alluded earlier as well to the franchise showing signs of getting stale, and this was because as the film went on I noticed that there was quite a lot of repetition going on in terms of certain sequences and action moves, stuff that was excellent to watch was re-used on more than one occasion, which lessened the overall experience… Once is fine, but when you then do it more, it becomes boring.
But that’s the biggest challenge with a franchise like this, how do you keep it fresh? It’s difficult, and in some ways, impossible to achieve. Consumers are going to these films expecting a certain kind of action, and it certainly delivers, but after watching John Wick Chapter 3 I am starting to wonder if it’s time to let this franchise wind down, instead of milking it for every penny that it’s worth. In my personal opinion, they are getting gradually weaker, and although this isn’t a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, I do fear that future instalments could start to go down the “bad” route, and I don’t want that, I’d rather remember this franchise for what it is, one of the best action film franchises out there.
But regardless of this, you’ll no doubt have fun and it’s certainly an entertaining ride. If you’ve never seen a John Wick film before, then get out there and watch them! If you’ve seen the first two and you’re wondering whether the third is worth a watch, it certainly is. It has moments of pure brilliance and some of the most brutal action I’ve seen in a film, you may love it, you may feel a bit underwhelmed by it like I was, but either way, you’re still going to have a good time, and that’s the most important thing!
I give John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum a 7.5/10.