John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019)

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John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019)

John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassins’ guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head, he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.

John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Trailer

John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Reviews

There are any number of thrilling passages in “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” but a moment of true inspiration—when you know that you’re in the hands of filmmakers who are intent on creating a work of wit, style, and vision—comes relatively early. Our hero, soulful assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves), is at the New York Public Library to find a very specific book when he’s interrupted by one of the approximately 11 million people who will attempt to kill him over the course of the next two hours of screen time.Eventually John kills him by utilizing the book he’s holding as a weapon. That part is great, but the moment of true inspiration comes next when he goes back and replaces the book on the shelf where he found it. This detail works not because it is funny, but because it fits the character so perfectly that it would almost be weird if he didn’t do it. In a genre where impersonality is the name of the game more than ever, it’s a delight.
In the original “John Wick,” we were introduced to Wick, the recently widowed former member of a shadow cabal of assassins governed by the rules-obsessed High Table, who was spurred back into action when connected punks killed the dog left to him by his late wife. In “John Wick: Chapter 2,” he was still enmeshed in the world that he had successfully left behind and at the end, he killed a member of the High Table while on the grounds of the Continental Hotel, an establishment designated as a safe ground for those in the assassin trade. This move leads to his being designated “excommunicado” by the High Table—all of his rights and privileges are stripped away and an open contract is issued for one and all on him with a payoff beginning at $14 million—though colleague Winston (Ian McShane) gives him a one-hour head start, partly out of friendship and partly, it appears, for his own amusement.Granted, this is not quite as generous as it sounds since it appears that everyone in the Wickiverse, at least those with speaking or bleeding roles, is an assassin themselves. Wick’s plan is to make his way to Morocco in the hopes of tracking down the secretive leader of the High Table in order to make a personal offer to atone for his grave transgression.

Although no one in the organization is supposed to offer any assistance to Wick, he does receive some aid from a couple of people from his past—his onetime mentor (Anjelica Huston) and Sofia (Halle Berry), a onetime killer who now runs the Morocco branch of the Continental and owes Wick for a past favor.

While he is off trying to find the head of the High Table and fighting off all comers, another member of the organization, known only as The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) arrives in New York to set things in order and punish both Winston and The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) for daring to aid Wick. To help carry this out, they enlist the services of Zero (Mark Dacascos), a sushi chef with an endless array of deadly ninjas at his service, all of whom seem giddy at the possibility of fighting the legendary John Wick.

When the original “John Wick” came out, audiences expecting just another dopey action film were shocked to find that it was a borderline brilliant work that contained an unexpectedly smart and funny screenplay, a performance from Keanu Reeves that bordered on the sublime in the way that it properly utilized his unique persona, and action sequences so stylishly executed that they reminded viewers of the best works of such genre masters as Walter Hill, John Woo, and Luc Besson.

Amazingly, the follow-up managed to more than clear the high bar set by its predecessor by doubling down on the action beats and by expanding the film’s universe in fascinating ways. If the original “John Wick” was “Mad Max”—a work that transcended expectations to become an instant classic—”John Wick: Chapter 2″ was “The Road Warrior,” a work that took off from an impossible-to-top source and proceeded to top it.

As it turns out, “John Wick 3” is not quite the “Fury Road” of the series but is easily its “Beyond Thunderdome,” 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. The problem is not with the staging of the action scenes—director Chad Stahelski (the former stuntman who also directed the previous installments), along with cinematographer Dan Laustsen, and production designer Kevin Kavanaugh, present us with an endless array of stunning visuals and stuntmen, wreaking gloriously gory havoc with everything from guns and knives to the aforementioned book and even a horse. Where the film does stumble a bit, however, is that the attempts at further world-building are not quite as inspired as in the previous films. The Adjudicator, for example, seems like an interesting idea for a character but nothing much comes of their presence—Dillon is fine but pales in comparison to previous memorable franchise characters played by the likes of Adrianne Palicki and Ruby Rose. 

Still, there are a number of wonderful elements on display in “Parabellum.” There’s Reeves, whose ability to make the most out of the least amount of dialogue would leave the likes of Bronson and Eastwood agog. There are moments of unexpected humor that blindside you—the location where Wick meets his mentor yields a bigger laugh than most actual comedies.

And the consistently exciting fight scenes also yield a lot of big laughs, especially during the kills where Wick is forced to use something other than a gun. Oh yes, I almost forgot the dogs. Halle Berry’s character is accompanied by a couple of dogs who go on to steal practically every frame of film featuring them, more than holding their own during one of the movie’s big fight scenes. No, I haven’t seen “A Dog’s Journey” yet, but if you see only one movie sequel featuring dogs this weekend, I guarantee that “Parabellum” is the one to beat.

  • Peter Sobczynski –  Roger Ebert
  • Peter Sobczynski is a contributor to and Magill’s Cinema Annual and can be heard weekly on the nationally syndicated “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse” radio show.

mission impossible 2


John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Credits

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum movie poster

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Rated R for pervasive strong violence, and some language.

130 minutes


Keanu Reeves as John Wick

Halle Berry as Sofia

Ian McShane as Winston

Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King

Anjelica Huston as The Director

Saïd Taghmaoui as The Elder

Mark Dacascos as Zero

Lance Reddick as Charon

Asia Kate Dillon as The Adjudicator

Jason Mantzoukas as Tick Tock Man

Tiger Hu Chen as Triad


  • Chad Stahelski

Writer (based on characters created by)

  • Derek Kolstad

Writer (story by)

  • Derek Kolstad


  • Derek Kolstad
  • Shay Hatten
  • Chris Collins
  • Marc Abrams


  • Dan Laustsen


  • Evan Schiff


  • Tyler Bates
  • Joel J. Richard

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John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Plot

John Wick is making 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], which is considered neutral ground. He sends his dog to safety with the concierge, Charon, 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 Ernest, another hitman, and seeks medical treatment from an underworld doctor, but his $14 million bounty activates before the doctor can finish, forcing John to complete the suturing himself. Upon leaving, he is quickly pursued by various gangs of assassins, all of whom he kills.

John meets with the “Director”, the head of the Ruska Roma crime syndicate, where he presents the rosary and demands safe passage to Casablanca. As John was once one of them, the Director reluctantly helps. Meanwhile, a High Table Adjudicator 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 helping John and indirectly going against the rules of the Table.

The Adjudicator enlists Zero, a Japanese assassin, and orders him to stab the Director through both of her hands as penance for aiding John. In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and manager of the Moroccan Continental.

John presents the marker medallion, which binds Sofia to return a favor from the past, and demands to be directed to the “Elder” – the only person above the High Table. Sofia begrudgingly 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. When she refuses he shoots the dog, which survives due to its bulletproof vest. Sofia wants to kill Berrada, but only wounds him at John’s warning.

They fight their way out of the kasbah 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, who asks why he is there; John states that he wants to live to keep the memory of the love he once had with his late wife.

The Elder agrees to forgive John’s transgressions if he kills Winston and remains subservient to the High Table for the remainder of his life. To show his fealty, John severs his ring finger and gives his wedding ring to the Elder.

John returns to New York and is attacked by Zero and his students before reaching the protection of the Continental. The Adjudicator arrives, but Winston refuses to abdicate and John refuses to kill him, leading the Adjudicator to revoke the Continental’s neutral status and send 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 Charon and his staff. After killing all the enforcers, John is ambushed by Zero and his students, and John proceeds to kill all but two of Zero’s students. Zero battles John but is eventually defeated and left to die. On the roof of The Continental, the Adjudicator agrees to a parley with Winston, who offers fealty to the High Table.

John arrives. Winston shoots him without killing him, and John falls off the roof to the street below. Winston reassumes his managerial position. The severely injured John is secretly collected and delivered to the heavily wounded Bowery King in an underground bunker; the two agree to join forces against the High Table.


John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Box office

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).[32] In its second weekend the film made $24.4 million, finishing second behind newcomer Aladdin.[33] It then earned $11.1 million in its third weekend and $6.4 million in its fourth.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)


John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Critical Response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89%, with an average rating of 7.5/10, based on 353 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.”[36] 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%.[32] Rotten Tomatoes also ranked it at No. 2 on its list of “The Best Action Movies of 2019”.

Peter Sobczynski of 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.”[39] 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”


John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Accolades

Award Category Recipient Result
Art Directors Guild Awards[42][43] Best Contemporary Film Kevin Kavanaugh Nominated
Austin Film Critics Association[44] Best Stunts John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Won
BMI Awards[45] BMI Film Music Joel J. Richard (composer)
Tyler Bates (composer)
British Film Designers Guild Awards[46] 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[47] Best Action Movie John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards[48] Razzie Redeemer Award Keanu Reeves Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards[49] 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
Final Fight Nominated
Golden Tomato Awards[50][51][52][53] 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[54][55] Best of Show John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Won
Best Action Won
Best Summer 2019 Blockbuster Trailer Won
Best Action Poster Won
Best Teaser Poster Won
Hollywood Critics Association Awards[56][57] Best Stunt Work John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Won
Best Action/War Film Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society[58][59] Best Stunt Coordination Team Won
Best Movie Poster Art Nominated
IGN Awards[60] Best Action Movie Won
People’s Choice Winner Best Action Movie Won
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild[61] Best Contemporary Hair Styling – Feature-Length Motion Picture Kerrie Smith
Therese Ducey
Best Contemporary Make-Up – Feature-Length Motion Picture Stephen Kelley
Anna Stachow
Jacenda Burkett
Motion Picture Sound Editors[62] 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[63] Best Stunt Coordination John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Won
People’s Choice Awards[64] 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
Halle Berry Nominated
Saturn Awards[65] 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[66] Best Action Choreography John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Won
St. Louis Film Critics Association[67] Best Action Film Nominated
Taurus World Stunt Awards[68] Best Fight Nominated
Best Stunt Coordinator And/Or 2nd Unit Director Won

John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019) Movie Info

After gunning down a member of the High Table — the shadowy international assassin’s guild — legendary hit man John Wick finds himself stripped of the organization’s protective services. Now stuck with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through the streets of New York as he becomes the target of the world’s most ruthless killers.

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