John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is a 2019 American neo-noir action thriller film starring Keanu Reeves as the eponymous character. It is the third installment in the John Wick film series, following John Wick (2014) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). The film is directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, based on a story by Kolstad. It also stars Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, and Ian McShane. In the film, which picks up minutes after the end of the previous film, ex-hitman John Wick finds himself on the run from legions of assassins after a $14 million contract is put on his head due to his recent actions.
|John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chad Stahelski|
|Story by||Derek Kolstad|
by Derek Kolstad
|Edited by||Evan Schiff|
|Box office||$326.7 million|
The third installment was announced in June 2017. Much of the returning cast and crew was confirmed in February 2018, with new members joining that May. Filming began that month and lasted through November, taking place in New York City, Montreal, and Morocco.
Parabellum was theatrically released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by Lionsgate. It has grossed $326 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of the franchise in just 10 days, and received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the action sequences, direction, visual style, and Reeves' performance. A sequel, John Wick: Chapter 4, is in development and is set to be released on May 21, 2021.
Less than an hour after the events of the second film, former hitman John Wick is now a marked man on the run in Manhattan. Before he is labeled "excommunicado" as a result of his unauthorized killing of High Table member Santino D'Antonio, Wick travels to the New York Public Library and retrieves two concealed items – a "marker" medallion and a crucifix. Then he is injured following a fight with a giant assassin named Ernest, who tries to kill him early. Wick leaves to be treated by a doctor, but his 1-hour grace period is up and his excommunicado begins before the doctor can finish. Wick patches the injury up on his own and leaves but is pursued by a gang into an antique warehouse which leads to a bloody fight between Wick and the gang involving antique weaponry.
John reaches out to the Director, the head of the Ruska Roma, with the crucifix and requests her help in getting safe passage to Casablanca. The Director reluctantly helps, as John is a former protégé and is from Belarus, knowing that this act will violate her peace treaty with the High Table.
An Adjudicator of the High Table meets with Winston, the manager of the New York City Continental, and the Bowery King, the leader of a network of vagrants. The Adjudicator punishes both for helping John, giving them seven days to resign their positions, and hires Zero, a Japanese ninja. Zero and his students find the Director, slaughtering all of her guards and stabbing her hands as punishment for helping John.
In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and the manager of the Moroccan Continental. He asks her to honor her marker by helping to direct him to the Elder, the only person above the High Table, to request atonement for his misdeed. Sofia takes John to Berrada, her former boss, who tells John he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he cannot walk any longer. In exchange, Berrada asks for one of Sofia's dogs; when Sofia refuses, he shoots the dog, which is saved by a bulletproof vest. In retaliation Sofia wanted to kill Berrada but at John's warning she only wounds him. Sofia and John fight their way out of the kasbah and drive into the desert, where she leaves him.
The Adjudicator and Zero confront the Bowery King, who refuses to abdicate his position. Zero's students slaughter almost all of his henchmen. As penance for giving John seven bullets, Zero cuts the Bowery King seven times with a katana.
Collapsing in the desert, John is brought to the Elder. John says that he is desperate to live to "earn" the memory of the love he once had with his wife. The Elder agrees to forgive John on condition that he assassinate Winston and continue to work for the High Table until his death. To show his commitment, John severs his ring finger and offers his wedding ring to the Elder.
John arrives back in New York City and is pursued by Zero and his students, who nearly kill John before he reaches the protection of the Continental. Charon, the hotel's concierge, reminds Zero that no "business" can be conducted on hotel property, lest he be declared excommunicado himself. John meets with Winston, who encourages John not to die as an enslaved killer but as a man who loved, and was loved by, his wife.
The Adjudicator arrives, but Winston refuses to give up his office and John refuses to kill Winston, leading the Adjudicator to "deconsecrate" the Continental, revoking its neutral ground status. The Adjudicator notifies Zero and sends heavily armed and armored High Table enforcers as backup. Winston furnishes John with weapons, and alongside Charon and other hotel staff, John defends the Continental. He is ambushed by Zero and his students, and kills all but the two chief students and fatally wounds Zero.
The Adjudicator agrees to a parley with Winston, who explains his rebellion as a "show of strength" and offers fealty to the High Table. After John arrives, the Adjudicator questions what should be done with him. Winston shoots John repeatedly in the torso, and he falls from the Continental's roof to the street. The Continental is "reconsecrated", but the Adjudicator informs Winston that John's body has disappeared, and that he remains a threat to them both.
A seriously injured John and his dog are delivered to a now heavily scarred Bowery King. He tells John that he is "really pissed off" at the High Table; asking John if he is too. The film ends with John saying, "Yeah".
- Keanu Reeves as John Wick
- Halle Berry as Sofia, an ex-assassin, former friend of John and the manager of the Continental Hotel in Casablanca.
- Ian McShane as Winston
- Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King
- Mark Dacascos as Zero
- Asia Kate Dillon as the Adjudicator
- Lance Reddick as Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel
- Tobias Segal as Earl
- Anjelica Huston as the Director
- Saïd Taghmaoui as the Elder
- Jerome Flynn as Berrada
- Randall Duk Kim as the Doctor. Duk Kim reprised his role from the first film.
- Margaret Daly as Operator
- Robin Lord Taylor as Administrator
- Susan Blommaert as Librarian
- Jason Mantzoukas as Tick Tock Man, one of the Bowery King's men
- Cecep Arif Rahman as Shinobi #1, one of Zero's pupils
- Yayan Ruhian as Shinobi #2, another of Zero's pupils
- Tiger Chen as Triad
In October 2016, Chad Stahelski, who made his directorial debut with John Wick and served as Reeves' Matrix stunt double, stated that a third film in the John Wick series was in the works, and in June 2017 it was reported that Derek Kolstad, who wrote the two prior films, would return to write the screenplay. In January 2018, it was reported that Stahelski would return to direct.
According to Reeves, the film's title was taken from the famous 4th-century Roman military quote "Si vis pacem, para bellum," which means, "If you want peace, prepare for war." In an interview with The New York Times, McShane said that the film would be big, good, and that nothing is the same while also hinting that part of the action could be the High Table's payback not only on Wick but also on his close friend Winston.
In January 2018, it was reported that Hiroyuki Sanada was in talks to join the cast. Later, it was revealed that Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick would reprise their roles from previous John Wick films. In May 2018, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos, Jason Mantzoukas, Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Arif Rahman, and Tiger Chen joined the cast. In November 2018, Said Taghmaoui confirmed his involvement in the film.
Principal photography began May 5, 2018, in New York City and Montreal, along with the additional filming locations of Morocco. Principal photography wrapped on November 17, 2018. Cinematographer Dan Laustsen was asked about how challenging it was to use as many extended fight scene takes as possible while filming the high action screenplay. He stated, "Of course it is [a challenge], because all the fights—Chad [Stahelski] is doing most of the fights himself. We play that as wide as we can. Because that way we see it’s him. We do that a lot, we try to play it as wide as we can and do long shots. Of course, because Chad has a background from the stunt world he knows exactly how to block this kind of stuff. I’m not the best stunt person in the world, but I’m learning." In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Halle Berry said, "I broke three ribs in rehearsal."
Parabellum premiered in Brooklyn, New York on May 9, 2019. The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by Lionsgate. The film was released on Digital HD on August 23, 2019 and was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD on September 10, 2019.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum grossed $171 million in the United States and Canada, and $155.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $326.7 million.
In the United States and Canada, Parabellum was released alongside A Dog's Journey and The Sun Is Also a Star and was initially projected to gross $30–40 million from 3,850 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $5.9 million from Thursday night previews, more than the total of the Thursday night previews for the previous two films ($950,000 and $2.2 million). It then made $22.7 million on its first day (including previews), increasing its projected gross to $56 million. It went on to debut at $57 million, becoming the first film to dethrone Avengers: Endgame atop the box office. It was the best opening of the series, and more than the first film made during its entire theatrical run ($43 million). In its second weekend the film made $24.4 million, finishing second behind newcomer Aladdin. It then earned $11.1 million in its third weekend and $6.4 million in its fourth.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 90%, with an average rating of 7.47/10, based on 329 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum reloads for another hard-hitting round of the brilliantly choreographed, over-the-top action that fans of the franchise demand." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same as its predecessor, while those at PostTrak gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and a "definite recommend" of 75%. Rotten Tomatoes also ranked it at No. 2 on its list of "The Best Action Movies of 2019".
Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, calling it "a work of pop cinema so blissfully, albeit brutally, entertaining that you come out of it feeling even more resentful of its multiplex neighbors for not making a similar effort." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of "A-", writing that "as gorgeously choreographed, gratuitously violent action movies go, it's high art". Wendy Ide of The Observer gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "a flying kick to the senses" and writing that "The spectacular third installment in Keanu Reeves's fighting franchise overwhelms with opulent martial arts set pieces".
|Art Directors Guild Awards||Best Contemporary Film||Kevin Kavanaugh||Nominated|
|Critics Choice Movie Awards||Best Action Movie||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Nominated|
|Golden Raspberry Awards||The Razzie Redeemer Award||Keanu Reeves||Pending|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Action Movie of 2019||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Nominated|
|Favorite Male Movie Star of 2019||Keanu Reeves||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Action or Adventure Film||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Keanu Reeves||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Evan Schiff||Nominated|
On May 20, 2019, following the third film's successful debut, John Wick: Chapter 4 was announced and given a May 21, 2021 release date.
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