John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (also known as simply John Wick: Chapter 3) 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 franchise, 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 because of his recent actions.
|John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum|
|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 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, visual style, and Reeves's performance. A sequel, John Wick: Chapter 4, is planned to start filming in the summer of 2021 and set to be released on May 27, 2022.
John Wick makes his way through Manhattan before he is labeled "excommunicado" for the unauthorized killing of High Table crime lord Santino D'Antonio on the grounds of the New York Continental Hotel[N 1] — before this, he ensures his dog is kept safe at the very same hotel. At the New York Public Library, John retrieves a marker medallion and a rosary. He is injured in a fight with another hitman and seeks medical treatment from an underworld doctor, but his $14 million bounty activates before the doctor can finish. John finishes suturing himself but is quickly pursued by various gangs of assassins whom he kills after two short fights.
John meets with the "Director", the head of the Ruska Roma crime syndicate, where he presents the rosary and demands safe passage to Casablanca. The Director reluctantly helps John as he was once one of them, a Belarusian-born protégé named Jardani Jovonovich. A High Table Adjudicator meanwhile meets with New York Continental manager Winston and the Bowery King, notifying them that they both have seven days to resign from their positions for breaking the rules of the High Table.[N 1] The Adjudicator hires Zero, a Japanese assassin, and orders him to stab the Director through both of her hands as penance for defying the High Table. In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and manager of the Moroccan Continental. John presents the marker, which he obtained after helping her to protect her daughter, and demands to be directed to the "Elder" – the only person above the High Table. Sofia reluctantly takes John to Berrada, her former boss, who tells John he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he can no longer walk. In exchange, Berrada asks for one of Sofia's dogs (Belgian Malinois) and when she refuses, he shoots the dog, which survives due to its ballistic vest. Sofia tries to kill Berrada, but at John's warning she only wounds him. They fight their way out of the kasbah by killing scores of Berrada's henchmen and drive into the desert, where she leaves John.
Seven days later, the Adjudicator and Zero confront the Bowery King, who refuses to abdicate his position. In response, Zero's students slaughter his men while the King is slashed seven times with a wakizashi as penance. Meanwhile, John collapses in the desert and is brought to the Elder. John states that he wants to live to keep the memory of the love he once had with his late wife.[N 2] The Elder agrees to forgive John on the condition that he kill Winston and remain subservient to the High Table for the remainder of his life. John severs his ring finger and offers his wedding band to the Elder as an act of fealty. He returns to New York and is attacked by Zero and his students before reaching the protection of the Continental. Winston urges John not to die as the "Baba Yaga" (meaning: Boogeyman), but as a man who loved and was loved by his wife. The Adjudicator arrives, but Winston refuses to resign his position and John refuses to kill him, leading the Adjudicator to revoke the status of the Continental and sends both Zero and an army of heavily armed High Table enforcers to kill John and Winston. Winston provides John with weapons and the assistance of concierge Charon and his staff. After killing the enforcers, John is ambushed by Zero and his students, and John proceeds to kill all but two students who surrender with honor after being beaten. Zero battles John but is eventually defeated and left to die.
The Adjudicator agrees to a parley with Winston, who offers fealty to the High Table. John arrives and Winston shoots him repeatedly, causing him to fall off the roof. Winston reassumes his manager position. The severely injured John is secretly collected and delivered to an underground bunker where the heavily scarred Bowery King is waiting for him. He voices his anger towards the High Table and asks John if he is also angry, to which John agrees.
- Keanu Reeves as John Wick / Jardani Jovonovich
- Halle Berry as Sofia Al-Azwar, 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 in New York
- Tobias Segal as Earl
- Anjelica Huston as "The Director"
- Saïd Taghmaoui as "The Elder"
- Jerome Flynn as Berrada
- Randall Duk Kim as The Doctor
- 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
- Roger Yuan as Huang, a Triad gang assassin (uncredited)
- Tiger Chen as Triad (uncredited)
- Boban Marjanović as Ernest
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 lasted until 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."
The action scene with a hitman named Earnest, played by NBA basketball player Boban Marjanović, was inspired by the Bruce Lee film Game of Death (1972), where Lee fights NBA basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Unlike most of the other stunt scenes, Earnest has a few lines bantering with John Wick, but he still loses.
The theme song for the film is "Bullet Holes" by English rock band Bush. While Tyler Bates was writing music with the band, he decided that the song would be perfect for the film, and sent it to Chad Stahelski. Also featured is the song "Ninja Re Bang Bang" by Japanese artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
The studio spent an estimated $48 million on prints and advertisements promoting the film.
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. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $89 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
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 89%, with an average rating of 7.40/10, based on 345 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|
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Stunts||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Won|
|BMI Awards||BMI Film Music||Joel J. Richard (composer)
Tyler Bates (composer)
|British Film Designers Guild Awards||International Studio Feature Film - Contemporary||Kevin Kavanaugh (Production Designer)
Ian Bailie (Supervising Art Director)
Chris Shriver (Supervising Art Director)
David Schlesinger (Set Decorator)
Letizia Santucci (Set Decorator)
|Critics Choice Movie Awards||Best Action Movie||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Nominated|
|Golden Raspberry Awards||The Razzie Redeemer Award||Keanu Reeves||Nominated|
|Golden Schmoes Awards||Favorite Celebrity of the Year||Won|
|Coolest Character of the Year||John Wick||Runner-up|
|Favorite Movie Poster of the Year nom||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Nominated|
|Best Action Sequence of the Year||Knife Fight in Shop||Runner-up|
|Golden Tomato Awards||Best-Reviewed Action & Adventure Movies||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Won|
|Fan Favorite Movies||7th place|
|Golden Year Award||Keanu Reeves||Won|
|Fan Favorite Actors||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best of Show||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Won|
|Best Summer 2019 Blockbuster Trailer||Won|
|Best Action Poster||Won|
|Best Teaser Poster||Won|
|Hollywood Critics Association Awards||Best Stunt Work||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Won|
|Best Action/War Film||Nominated|
|Houston Film Critics Society||Best Stunt Coordination Team||Won|
|Best Movie Poster Art||Nominated|
|IGN Awards||Best Action Movie||Won|
|People's Choice Winner Best Action Movie||Won|
|Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild||Best Contemporary Hair Styling - Feature-Length Motion Picture||Kerrie Smith
|Best Contemporary Make-Up - Feature-Length Motion Picture||Stephen Kelley
|Motion Picture Sound Editors||Feature Film - Sound Effects / Foley||Mark P. Stoeckinger (supervising sound editor)
Alan Rankin (sound designer)
Martyn Zub (sound designer)
Luke Gibleon (sound designer)
Dan O'Connell (foley artist)
John T. Cucci (foley artist)
|Online Film Critics Society||Best Stunt Coordination||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Won|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Movie of 2019||Nominated|
|Favorite Action Movie of 2019||Nominated|
|Favorite Male Movie Star of 2019||Keanu Reeves||Nominated|
|Favorite Action Movie Star of 2019||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Action or Adventure Film||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Keanu Reeves||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Evan Schiff||Nominated|
|Seattle Film Critics Society||Best Action Choreography||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Won|
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||Best Action Film||Nominated|
|Taurus World Stunt Awards||Best Fight||Nominated|
|Best Stunt Coordinator And/Or 2nd Unit Director||Won|
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; which was planned to be released alongside the fourth Matrix film, also starring Keanu Reeves. On May 1, 2020, the film was delayed to May 27, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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