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John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum

The third installment in the action franchise starring Keanu Reeves is currently in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 73

Much like the formerly retired assassin himself, the John Wick franchise (inaugurated in 2014, with a Chapter 2 in 2017) is GOAT of a particular strain of action movie. Among its contemporaries, John Wick, in a word, rules. And Parabellum, once again starring Keanu Reeves, is just as satisfying as its predecessors. It is not a smart movie or a wise movie — it’s just a really fun one, which fills out Wick’s universe a bit more without getting too hung up on constructing an elaborate and coherent mythology. It also delivers some truly eye-popping set pieces.

And that’s what makes Parabellum, and the whole John Wick franchise, so good. These movies never take themselves too seriously; how they look on screen matters more than what they say, and always has. Though they center on a grieving man who’s out for revenge, they never try to comment very much on either grief or revenge. The story exists to serve up great images, and the result is more pure cinema than intricate storytelling.

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