John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (also known as John Wick: Chapter 3 or simply John Wick 3) is a 2019 American neo-noir action thriller film starring Keanu Reeves as the titular 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, ex-hitman John Wick finds himself on the run from legions of assassins after a $14 million contract is put on his head.
|John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chad Stahelski|
|Story by||Derek Kolstad|
|Edited by||Evan Schiff|
|Box office||$276.1 million|
The first film was always meant to begin a series, and a 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.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was theatrically released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by Summit Entertainment. It has grossed $276 million worldwide, surpassing the entire gross of the second film in just 10 days, and received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the fight choreography, visual style, and Reeves' performance.
Less than an hour after the conclusion of the previous film, former hitman John Wick is now a marked man and on the run in Manhattan. After the unsanctioned killing of crime lord and new member of the High Table Santino D'Antonio in the New York City Continental, John is declared "excommunicado" by his handlers at the High Table and placed under a $14 million bounty. On the run from assassins, John reaches the New York Public Library and recovers a crucifix necklace and a "marker" medallion from a secret cache in a book. He fights his way through numerous assassins populating New York City until he reaches The Director, a woman from his past who operates a theater. She accepts the crucifix as a "ticket" for safe passage to Casablanca, Morocco and has Wick branded to signify that he has used up all her favors.
Meanwhile, an adjudicator with the High Table meets with Winston, the manager of the New York City Continental, and the Bowery King, the leader of a network of vagrant assassins. The Adjudicator admonishes both for helping John Wick kill Santino D'Antonio, and both are given seven days to give up their offices or face serious consequences.
In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and the manager of the Casablanca Continental. He presents his marker and asks Sofia to honor it by directing him to The Elder, a high-ranking member of the High Table, so that he can ask to have his bounty waived. Sofia takes him to an assassin named Berrada, who tells John that he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he cannot walk any longer. In exchange for this information, Berrada asks for one of Sofia's dogs; when Sofia refuses, he injures the dog. In retaliation, Sofia shoots Berrada, and the duo fight their way out of the kasbah and flee into the desert.
Having fulfilled her marker, Sofia leaves John in the desert. He roams until he collapses from exhaustion but is found by The Elder's men. John explains his actions, saying he is desperate to live on to "earn" the memory of the love he once had with his wife. The Elder agrees to forgive John but only if he assassinates Winston and continues to work for the High Table until his death. To show his commitment, John severs his ring finger and gives his wedding ring to The Elder.
Meanwhile, The Adjudicator recruits the assassin Zero and his assassin students to enforce the will of the High Table. With Zero's help, the adjudicator accosts the Director and the Bowery King. As penance, both are maimed, the Bowery King almost fatally. John arrives back in New York City and is pursued by Zero's men, but he escapes to the Continental and takes sanctuary. Zero nearly kills John, but is halted as they arrive at the New York Continental, under threat of being declared excommunicado. Zero reveals himself as a sort of fan of John's, but is brushed aside. John meets with Winston, who encourages John not to die as a 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. As a consequence, The Adjudicator "deconsecrates" the Continental NYC, revoking its protected neutral ground status. The Adjudicator then notifies Zero and his men and sends two busloads of body-armored High Table enforcers as their support. With the help of the hotel's concierge, Charon, John defends the Continental from the enforcers. At first, the armored enforcers easily kill most of the Continental's guards, but then John and Charon manage to kill them with armor-piercing shotgun shells. John is then ambushed by Zero and his students. John defeats and kills all but two of the students, then fatally wounds Zero.
The Adjudicator negotiates a parley with Winston, who explains the rebellion as a "show of strength" and offers penance to the High Table. John arrives, and when The Adjudicator identifies him as a threat to the negotiation, Winston shoots John repeatedly, causing John to fall off of the Continental's roof. The Continental NYC returns to operation and is “reconsecrated”, but The Adjudicator informs Winston that John's body has disappeared and that he remains a threat for both of them. Meanwhile, a wounded John Wick is delivered to the heavily-scarred Bowery King, who tells John he is angry with the High Table and will be fighting against them. He asks John if he feels the same way, and John agrees.
- Keanu Reeves as John Wick/Jardani Jovonovich, an ex-assassin on the run after having a $14 million bounty set on him. He sets out on a path to seek The Elder, the only man above the High Table, and has the power to have John's bounty and excommunicado status waived.
- Ian McShane as Winston, the manager of the Continental Hotel in New York.
- Mark Dacascos as Zero, a Japanese assassin recruited by the Adjudicator. He aligns himself with John Wick, in terms of both combat strategy and prowess, although the latter disagrees.
- Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, an underground crime lord. By order of The Adjudicator, he is wounded by Zero for aiding John Wick in the form of seven cuts to the body by a sword.
- Asia Kate Dillon as the Adjudicator of the High Table and the Major Character.
- Halle Berry as Sofia, an ex-assassin and close friend of John Wick and the manager of the Continental Hotel in Casablanca. She aids John after he presents her with a marker, which translates into a favour she owes him in return for saving her daughter years ago.
- Lance Reddick as Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel in New York. He later aids John Wick in battling the enforcers sent by The High Table.
- Anjelica Huston as the Director, a leading member of the Ruska Roma society that John Wick once belonged to.
- Saïd Taghmaoui as the Elder, the only man above the High Table.
- Jerome Flynn as Berrada, the assassins' master of coin and marker and a member of the High Table.
- Cecep Arif Rahman as Shinobi #1, Zero's pupil.
- Yayan Ruhian as Shinobi #2, Zero's pupil.
- Boban Marjanović as Ernest, an assassin.
- Randall Duk Kim as The Doctor.
Additionally, Riccardo Scamarcio cameos as Santino d'Antonio's corpse, Jason Mantzoukas cameos as the Tick Tock Man, Robin Lord Taylor cameos as The Administrator, Susan Blommaert plays Librarian, Tobias Segal plays Earl, and Roger Yuan, Arjon Bashiri, Tiger Chen, Vladimir and Vlado Mihailov, Danish Bhatt, and Candace M. Smith play assassins.
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.
Filming 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."
As of June 16, 2019[update], John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has grossed $148.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $127.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $276.1 million.
In the United States and Canada, John Wick: Chapter 3 – 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, and then $11.1 million in its third.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 90% based on 300 reviews, with an average rating of 7.50/10. 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%.
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".
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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