John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, one of the year’s best action films, arrives on Blu-ray today courtesy of Lionsgate and fans of the series could not be happier. Picking up right where Chapter 2 left off, Wick is on the run after being excommunicated for breaking the rules and killing a High Table member on Continental grounds. Given an hour head start by Continental manager Winston (Ian McShane) before the $14 million bounty kicks in, the famed hitman has few options left.
Since New York is a hot bed for assassins, where everyone from a chef to a taxicab driver could be a killer in disguise, Wick decides to call in debts owed to him to flee the city and hopefully set things right. This includes reaching out to The Director (Anjelica Huston), a powerful figure who runs a school where Wick spent time as a youth, and fellow assassin Sofia (Halle Berry), whose daughter Wick help save at one point. While Wick tries to find a way to make amends with the High Table, others are dealing with the fallout of his actions.
When the High Table sends The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) to restore order in the criminal underworld, those who broke protocol to help Wick, such as Winston, The Director, and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), are forced to reassess their allegiances. Wanting to quickly fix this situation, The Adjudicator enlists the help of elite killer Zero (Mark Dacascos) to dispose of Wick once and for all.
Offering deeper insight into the intricacies of the world the characters exist in, Stahelski’s film feels more realized than the previous installment. Of course, the action is what makes this franchise so engaging. One does not go into a John Wick film for character depth, though there is some here, but for its masterful blend of choreographed violence and humour. The sheer volume of set pieces, locations, props and number of people involved is stunning. Whether he is showcasing a brilliant knife fight, a thrilling battle on motorcycles or incorporating horses in inventive ways, Stahelski pushes the boundaries of action to exciting new heights.
As fun as it to watch Wick dispose of his enemies, it is equally enjoyable watching Keanu discussing how much work went into making those memorable sequences. The Blu-ray is packed with bonus material that will provide a greater appreciation for the craft on display. In the “Check Your Sights” featurette Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry discuss the grueling six months training regime they endured. Another interesting feature is “Bikes, Blades, Bridges, and Bits” where Stahelski details how the films epic motorcycle sequence was inspired by The Villainess. “Excommunicado” also has some insightful moments as Mark Dacascos explains how he literally jumped into the role of Zero hours before filming started.
If you are a fan of action films, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum needs to be a part of your Blu-ray collection.
Bonus Features: “Parabellum: Legacy of the High Table”, “Excommunicado”, “Check Your Sights”, “Saddle Up Wick”, “Bikes, Blades, Bridges, and Bits”, “Continental in the Desert”, “Dog Fu”, “House of Transparency”, “Shot by Shot”, Theatrical Trailer #1, Theatrical Trailer #2, John Wick HexGame Trailer, “Behind the Scenes of John Wick Hex”