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John Wick 3: Parabellum - May 2019


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Just back from seeing this. Fuck me! What an absolutely beautiful film! How good the entire film looks is easily lost in amongst all the incredible action but so many stunning individual shots and of course the set pieces.

 

If 4 is simply 90 minutes of Keanu Reeves emptying and reloading a shotgun then I will be there day one. Oh and dog combos.  More dog combos!

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There's a video of Halle Berry training on that range too:

 

 

 

YouTube action movie guy Rossatron, who has done good videos on the John Wick films before, has posted his video on Chapter 3:

 

 

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Ultimately I enjoyed this, and I really like where it went plot wise. But I much prefer John Wick 1 and 2. The action in this felt silly, people were laughing in my showing tonight. But then I have to admit, so was I. 

 

Spoiler

Dogs aside, Casablanca was shit and pointless. It all went a bit Uncharted 3, and Halle Berry's talent was wasted. Thankfully normal service resumed when it got back to New York. 

 

And I know the writing is an odd thing to complain about in these films, but the first two had some decent and snappy dialogue. In this, it was like they asked George Lucas to write the script; the conversation between Berry and Reeves about the daughter was Star Wars Prequel Trilogy levels of bad.

 

The film's action peaked too early as well, with that guy getting stuck with all the knives in one of the opening fights. They never bettered that, and it all went too "The Raid". It was more Kung-Fu than Gun-Fu. It just wasnt to my liking. 

 

Style over substance, and the style wasn't really my style. But I'm still keen to see where they take this. 

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It was ace just to see a good old fashioned action/shoot 'em up film. No snarky ironic stuff, refernces to other famous films and just shit hot real stunts with real people working hard, (as eveidenced above), and not endless hollow cgi or green screen craziness.

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24 minutes ago, Thor said:

Ultimately I enjoyed this, and I really like where it went plot wise. But I much prefer John Wick 1 and 2. The action in this felt silly, people were laughing in my showing tonight. But then I have to admit, so was I. 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Dogs aside, Casablanca was shit and pointless. It all went a bit Uncharted 3, and Halle Berry's talent was wasted. Thankfully normal service resumed when it got back to New York. 

 

And I know the writing is an odd thing to complain about in these films, but the first two had some decent and snappy dialogue. In this, it was like they asked George Lucas to write the script; the conversation between Berry and Reeves about the daughter was Star Wars Prequel Trilogy levels of bad.

 

The film's action peaked too early as well, with that guy getting stuck with all the knives in one of the opening fights. They never bettered that, and it all went too "The Raid". It was more Kung-Fu than Gun-Fu. It just wasnt to my liking. 

 

Style over substance, and the style wasn't really my style. But I'm still keen to see where they take this. 

 

How is laughter a problem? It was knowingly silly and comedic so it eliciting that reaction is a sign of success.

 

2 hours of relentless action without any comic relief would have been pretty tedious. I'm not even sure how the film could have played the majority of those scenes entirely straight. It fully embraces the absurdity of the various scenarios and indeed the world of John Wick, which is why it actually works far better than the first two films. 

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4 minutes ago, Marlowe said:

It was knowingly silly and comedic

The first one pretty much wasn't at all; the second one only a little. This one, it went all in ... I wasn't keen. 

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Balls. Had to take my car in for a service today so decided to walk into town and faff around for a bit. Then I thought I'd go and see this...fuck all places showing it until late night. 

 

God damn it. I like my dose of extreme violence in the morning.

 

Perks me up no end.

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Saw this over the weekend. Some really great action scenes, the first fight and the dog fight one were amazing. Great stuff. 

 

It was a little silly, more so near the end of the film.

i just don't see how he could survive the fall at the end, sorry

 

Was funnier than i was expecting, which felt a bit jarring but it wasn't a bad thing.

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I've been on the fence about the JW films, but I loved this one. Minor gripe out of the way first: it was too long by about 30 minutes (which is a problem with modern films in general, as they all try and conform to 2 hours to maximise theatre showings. Click / Click / Click )

 

Other than that, magnificent! I like how they are seeding characters who have their own backstory, particularly Halle Berry. Having two ludicrously adept hotties blowing shit away - both over 50 years old - makes me feel far better about my 43 year old self, as a side bonus.

 

My cinema (a large Cineworld)  grossly underestimated the popularity of this, by the way. They had only 4 showings on the day I went, on one pretty small screen. It was absolutely rammed, and almost intolerably sweaty! Audience had an amazing time though: lots of chuckles, groans and exclamations in all the right places. Awesome stuff!

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Yeah I went to a screening pretty early on Sunday morning and it was nearly full. I thought this was the best of the three, certainly. Leaning into the silliness of the premise and some of the action was a good idea.

 

I guess the question is,

did Winston mean to kill John, or did he shoot his body armour on purpose to try and make it look like he was being compliant, but actually he was banking on John surviving.

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2 hours ago, Treble said:

I've been on the fence about the JW films, but I loved this one. Minor gripe out of the way first: it was too long by about 30 minutes (which is a problem with modern films in general, as they all try and conform to 2 hours to maximise theatre showings. Click / Click / Click )

 

I'm not sure that's completely correct.  Sure, studios don't really want longer films than necessary since they cost more and you can screen then less times per day.  However, I don't think a studio is going to try to increase a 90 minute film to 120 minutes though since the same issues apply - less screenings and more expense. There is no reason for a studio to dictate that a 90 minute film is pushed to 120 minutes although a studio might try to push that a running time is kept down if a longer cut of a film appears than the studio feels is necessary. 

 

Havign said that, since films do seem to be getting longer and longer (I'm looking at you Shazam) it is not high on the studio's priority list to keep the running time down and I think the longer running time equals less showings is a bit of a myth - see Avengers Endgame 3 hr running time making all the money in the world as an example. With more screens than ever before, no longer are most releases restricted to one screen in a multiplex, if there is demand there the cinema will just expand it to other screens. 

 

 

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I think it's an easier equation to have a 'standard' runtime that means theatres are able to schedule showings in simpler blocks. There are more factors involved than that, true, but I think studios and theatres have tacitly compromised at this duration for most films.

 

I'd say Endgame is an anomaly that benefited from the longer duration. It muscled its way into other showings and dominated multiplexes, allowing very little elbow room for other releases. You have to be stunningly confident of success to allow for that kind of play, I think.

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I've been three times now...worth it :)

 

I'm just a sucker for well crafted action movies that show a real performance - after countless crappy CGI Marvel movie fights (Endgame was more like  a Havok demo) it's brilliant to see a series like JW do so well. 

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Was going to go and watch this soon, I like to wait a while and go during the day as I prefer less people about. Less distracting coughs and crinkly food packets.

But it seems half term has meant no daytime JW3 showings!

 

Flipping heck.

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Just me that was astounded that this was a 15? I mean, I realise that the previous two were as well, but my brain seems to be incapable of accepting that the BBFC has moved on and is instead determined to generate surprise every time a film like this dodges an 18 certificate. If you read their detailed ratings info over here, it's basically a checklist of all the things that used to get something bumped up to 18 back in the day. I'm not really arguing that their modern approach is wrong, but it does seem like the 18 cert is a bit redundant now.

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At this point 18s are pretty much exclusively for excessive nudity, sexual violence and lingering agony (Saw, Hostel etc). Most action films avoid it by never directly focusing on the after-effects of the violence, but I must admit I’m quite surprised the eyeball bit didn’t hit the quota as that was full-on Fulci.

 

There’s a whole other debate to be had about the merits of our society holding sexual content to a higher standard than violence, the French have it the other way around.

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I think my concern would also be that this may all have come about less because, say, research shows that actually this content is fine for teenagers and more due to commercial pressure.

 

Anyway, the film was pretty fantastic either way. I think it's definitely the best of the three, with genuinely breathtaking action - but also a welcome dose of humour. The choreography and the level of physical investment by Keanu are extraordinary. 

 

On the other hand, the more they flesh out this world, the emptier it all feels to me. I think it's some combination of the stylisation, the unrelenting action, and the lack of anyone 'normal' playing a part at any point. The only participants who are not either killers or part of the infrastructure for said killers are the dead Mrs Wick and some dogs and pigeons. Mr Wick has at most two modes: detached professionalism and murderous rage. This was all fine in the first film, but three in I think the lack of any contrast in these respects and the artificial tone are a bit of an issue. I'm not really suggesting that it would be improved by a romantic comedy subplot or something, but it is seemingly possible to be too cool.

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If I've to nit-pick anything, it's that the entire Bogeyman thing has pretty much been dispensed with. 

 

It's constantly hammered home in the first movie, that John Wick is the devil incarnate. The Baba Yaga. Viggo's expression, when he finds out it was John Wick's car that his son stole. 

 

There's none of that in the sequels. Mark Dacascos' character is honoured to be able to fight with Wick, but fear him? Nah. You could maybe argue that John was out of the game long enough for people to forget, but legends like that don't disappear overnight. 

 

For comedy, there should have been scenes of various assassins getting the message about Wick's open bounty and going 'Fuck that!'. It's only the proper headcases that think they'll have a go. 

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11 hours ago, hmm said:

Just me that was astounded that this was a 15? I mean, I realise that the previous two were as well, but my brain seems to be incapable of accepting that the BBFC has moved on and is instead determined to generate surprise every time a film like this dodges an 18 certificate. If you read their detailed ratings info over here, it's basically a checklist of all the things that used to get something bumped up to 18 back in the day. I'm not really arguing that their modern approach is wrong, but it does seem like the 18 cert is a bit redundant now.

 

An old couple left the screening after the

guy gets a knife in his eye

.

 

Surely they knew what the were getting themselves into ! It's the third film , did they not watch the first two ?!?

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I enjoyed the action and comedy (comedy-action!), of course. The fights were brutal, if a little over-long in places. The body count is much higher in this one, innit? Like, how many assassins can there actually be in the world? Let alone ones willing to take on John Wick's contract?! :lol:

 

I wasn't keen on the mysticism element becoming more pronounced, at least it seemed more pronounced than the first two.

"Go to the edge of the desert and walk until you're nearly dead and you will be found... or not". Like, what? What sort of fucking directions are those?! And they just get in a car and go there!

 

And all the disappearing into the shadows/crowds like some of the assassins do in the crowded train station. They're killers, at best ninjas, they're not ghosts. Or was it supposed to be a hallucination? And why were the public, in a very crowded public area, not noticing the dead bodies dropping to the floor and blokes carrying bloodied knives around?

 

For a film that tries to sell a semi-believable world of secret assassins, the world-building came across as lazy. And there was pretty much no plot, but that's expected.

 

I mean, I enjoyed it and I love that proper physical action films are being made, but I fear this franchise is a case of diminishing returns. The Matrix reference was cringey. The "ending" made me sigh and I have no real excitement for the next one.

 

(I'll still go see it, obvs.)

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It's almost a shame The Raid and Judge Dredd both already exist because either of those scripts could have been tweaked for John Wick 4. Marginally disappointed this won't be a trilogy, because what a trilogy!  Maybe it was always supposed to be, but the Casablanca element was a way to stretch this into two parts, along with the return of a certain character*. Anyway, minor personal gripe aside, some of the action in this is stupendous. A lot drew an involuntary reaction of laughter-as-shock from me because some of it was so much more violent compared to most modern action films. At times felt something like Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky with a Hollywood budget (The Story of Wicky?) Hoping 4 will just be the corridor scene from Old Boy on steroids for 90 minutes.

 

Also a shame The Expendables exists (for many reasons) as it would have been funny if the High Table consisted of 80s action heroes for Wick to overcome. Casting for 4 will need some proper celluloid psyschos.

 

*more specific spoiler...

Laurence Fisburne looked pretty fucking dead from his seven cuts. No real issue with the Bowery King having the means to survive that, was actually quite a cool way to lead into chapter 4

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  • 1 month later...

Just watched this and enjoyed the hell out of it. Obviously the plot and story and ridiculously silly but you stay for the action which is quite frankly just awesome.

 

Re Winston

Spoiler

I think it's all a set up to take out the high table. He and John knew they'd never get out alive, that eventually they'd run out of ammo and the men would keep on coming. So they banked on surviving the first few waves in hope of getting the parley. Winston "kills" John to get back in the favour of the hightable and JW4 is about taking them out from both the inside and outside.

 

Obviously that only works with John surving the fall, but seeing as though he was a dead man walking anyway, it was worth the risk. They knew where he needed to fall.

 

If he wanted John dead he would have just gone for the head or chest, but he specifically goes for the jacket.

 

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14 hours ago, Stigweard said:

Just watched this and enjoyed the hell out of it. Obviously the plot and story and ridiculously silly but you stay for the action which is quite frankly just awesome.

 

Re Winston

  Reveal hidden contents

I think it's all a set up to take out the high table. He and John knew they'd never get out alive, that eventually they'd run out of ammo and the men would keep on coming. So they banked on surviving the first few waves in hope of getting the parley. Winston "kills" John to get back in the favour of the hightable and JW4 is about taking them out from both the inside and outside.

 

Obviously that only works with John surving the fall, but seeing as though he was a dead man walking anyway, it was worth the risk. They knew where he needed to fall.

 

If he wanted John dead he would have just gone for the head or chest, but he specifically goes for the jacket.

 

 

It's a fair point.

 

 

Looking back, the "parley" remark between John and Winston could easily be taken as a code (and gives the writers an option for 4). Alternatively, he just gambled on Wick surviving; if he did, then Wick will seek vengeance and gives Winston time to pull the strings he needs to with the High Table. Either way, Winston certainly wasn't too shocked when 'Johnathan's' body was missing.

 

Third option, Winston's back story is fleshed out and it turns out he was keeping Wick close for his own purposes all along, and Wick will actually have to kill him to finally be free of the cabal

 

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