The John Wick action franchise doubles down again on its ambitious mythology and dazzling martial artistry, delivering another deliriously entertaining action romp.
Picking up right where Chapter 2 left off, we rejoin un-retired assassin John (Keanu Reeves) moments before a $14 million bounty on his head takes effect as a result of his having broken the increasingly convoluted rules implemented by the High Table, the anonymous controlling body of the assassin/criminal underworld Wick recently re-entered.
John looks to an old associate named Sofia (Halle Berry) in his attempts to broker his own freedom, a journey which sees him also interact with The Director (Anjelica Huston) and The Adjudicator (played by the gender non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon from Billions). These are all welcome additions to the franchise, but none is more fun than sushi chef assassin Zero (Mark Dacascos), a John Wick super-fan who is clearly thrilled to be taking him on.
This franchise assumes you are on board with the nutty mythology and focuses on delivering astounding action set pieces defined by a welcome emphasis on stunt work, creatively choreographed martial arts, and a distinct lack of super heroics. This is the Anti-Avengers, and I am here for it.
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The role gave Reeves' career a third or fourth wind. His dedication to executing his fight scenes himself is what sets the Wick franchise apart.
It's a more brutal and violent affair than the often elegant Chapter 2, but that doesn't feel accidental, and the set pieces are nothing less than transcendent. One quibble might be the lack of anything resembling a proper resolution which could be considered a bit cheeky.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Anjelica Houston
Director: Chad Stahelski
Running time: 130 minutes
Rating: R16 (Graphic violence and offensive language)
Verdict: Nobody does it better – Keanu kicks even more ass in another love letter to fans of old-school action cinema