Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Lawrence Fishburne, Angelica Huston, Said Taghmaoui
Director: Chad Stahelski
Rating: * * * *
What’s with the Catholic subtext in this ultra-violent revenge thriller? After all, forgiveness is a principal adjurement. So, tempting as it is to employ adjectives like subversive, your reviewer will desist. Though not before pointing out that “parabellum” is a type of gun and also Latin for “If you want peace, prepare for war.” And that the titular protagonist has the tattoo of a cross on his back and gangsters desecrated a church with the storage of ill-begotten moolah in the first instalment of the series.
If chapters one and two provided adrenaline charged thrills, part three is high octane. And more. And I don’t know what the producers have in store for viewers in chapter four but stuntman turned director Chad Stahelski’s Parabellum is a hard act to follow.
This time around, bereaved Keanu Reeves is the target of practically every criminal/bounty hunter in town as he continues to slice, stab, shoot and kill in the most creative ways – A book! How could one forget the pencil? And the canines and other animals which serve the plot most admirably. “All this for a dog?” Wick’s foster mom of sorts (Angelica Huston) wants to know.
Keanu’s stoic composure befits an emotionless assassin who embarks on an over the top killing spree but you wouldn’t complain, given the beauty, yes balletic beauty with which the action is choreographed. Superlatives are also apt for the cinematography (gorgeous), editing (crisp) and dare I reiterate, the action set pieces (stunning).
And it’s good to see the Indonesian martial arts exponents from The Raid as well as returnees like hotel manager Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). But oh, for some romance between Wick and dog lover Sofia (Halle Berry who looks desirable even with bad, bad hair).