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10 Things Critics Are Saying About John Wick: Chapter 3

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
You have no idea what’s coming. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Things Critics Are Saying About John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. For this list, we’re taking a look at what members of the press are saying about the third entry in the “John Wick” series so far. Watch the video at WatchMojo.com
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10 Things Critics Are Saying About John Wick: Chapter 3


You have no idea what’s coming. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Critics Are Saying About John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

For this list, we’re taking a look at what members of the press are saying about the third entry in the “John Wick” series so far.

#10: Pure Visceral Cinema


With the summer movie season officially among us, audiences are craving entertainment that feeds into our animalistic desire to see non-stop, adrenaline-pumping mayhem on the screen. That’s exactly what “John Wick: Chapter 3” delivers according to Hoai-Tran Bui of SlashFilm, who described the film as “pure visceral cinema.” Bui elaborated that this third chapter “returns to a leaner, exhilarating story chock full of breathless, bone-crunching action and even a few laughs.” She additionally stated that the film had her sweating a half an hour in, meaning we all may want to bring a washcloth into the theater.


#9: Knives. Lots of Knives.


The “John Wick” franchise is defined by its ingeniously choreographed gunplay, helping to popularize the term “Gun fu.” The standout weapons in “Chapter 3,” may very well be knives. However. Ethan Alter of YahooEnt praised a particular scene in which “Keanu and a bunch of bad dudes are just chucking knives at each other for about five minutes straight and it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.” Alter initially feared that the filmmakers might’ve played their trump card too early, but he was just as impressed with the rest of the movie, saying, “it's got massive set-pieces, Matrix references, Mantzoukas and more up its bloody sleeve.”

#8: Controversy! Ooh!


Although GameSpot’s Mike Rougeau generally commended the film’s action, characters, and world-building, he wasn’t gung-ho about everything, noting, “certain things will be controversial.” Since Rougeau thankfully didn’t go into spoiler territory, the potential controversy will remain vague until we’ve all seen the movie. Terri Schwartz of IGN seemed to share a similar sentiment, however, tweeting, “Some of the storytelling and character decisions left me scratching my head and questioning motivations when I left the theater.” Schwartz otherwise had a blast, though, adding that her qualms wouldn’t stop her from seeing a potential “John Wick: Chapter 4,” which we’re all hoping to see materialize as well.

#7: Adds Depth to the “John Wick” Universe


What makes the “John Wick” series so intriguing is that we’ve never been given too much information at once. Each chapter has organically taken us deeper and deeper into the world of assassins. “Chapter 3” continues to peel the curtain back while also upping the ante. According to Brent Goldman of Film Inquiry, this film “adds new depth to the ‘John Wick’ universe.” Jim Vejvoda also applauded the film for “providing new facets to the intricate underworld lore fans of the franchise have come to love.” In addition to expanding upon its lore, “Chapter 3” delivers “more” of everything we’ve come to expect, from fights to dogs.

#6: Chad Stahelski + Keanu Reeves = Perfect Cinematic Partnership


Chad Stahelski’s knack for exhilarating action can be largely attributed to the fact that he was a stuntman and stunt coordinator long before becoming a director. Stahelski notably acted as a stunt double for Keanu Reeves on “The Matrix,” jumpstarting their professional relationship. Although Reeves starred in his fair share of duds after “The Matrix” trilogy wrapped up, Stahelski reminded audiences what a badass actor he could be with the original “John Wick.” Reeves and Stahelski reunited for “John Wick: Chapter 2,” and “Chapter 3” appears to be another winning collaboration. As JoBlo.com’s JimmyO put it, the film “continues to prove that director Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves make a perfect cinematic partnership.”

#5: Who Let the Dogs Out (and Thank God They Did)?


Daisy wasn’t just a puppy to John, but a final gift from his late wife. Since Daisy’s death drove John to take the revenge route, it’s only fitting that “Chapter 3” would double down on the dogs. Collider’s Vinnie Mancuso had an especially hilarious tweet about how awesome the film’s canines are, posting, “If the first movie is ‘the one where the dog dies’ this is like, Revenge of the Dogs: These Dogs Chomp Dicks.” If you’re still not over what happened to Daisy, “Chapter 3” should finally give you some closure. Also, are we the only ones who find it ironic that this movie is coming out the same day as “A Dog’s Journey?”

#4: Insane Action Set Pieces


Speaking of pooches, Steven Weintraub stated on Twitter that his favorite set piece in the film involved Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, and her dogs. Of course, Weintraub was overall enthralled by the entire production, writing, “Some of the action set pieces are so insane you’ll wonder how director Chad Stahelski and his team filmed them.” From the Red Circle shootout in the first film to the museum showdown in the sequel, this series has already set the bar high for bombastic action sequences. If early word of mouth is any indication, though, the filmmakers have not only hit another bullseye, but have essentially blown up the whole target with “Chapter 3.”


#3: Character-Driven Action


A gunshot always carries more weight when we know who’s pulling the trigger and who’s on the receiving end of the barrel. As phenomenal as the action is, the “John Wick” series has proven to be so much more than mindless escapism. Before we even knew he was a deadly assassin, John made a strong connection with his audience that made us want to follow him on this trail of turmoil. Our emotional attachment to John isn’t lost in this third chapter and the fascinating supporting players he encounters are equally gripping. Courtney Howard of Variety says that the film “extends world-building dynamics beautifully, but also assigns meaningful resonance to character-driven action.” Likewise, she couldn’t have been more thrilled with Reeves’ performance, calling him “perfect.”

#2: A Living Video Game


Many critics have been raving that “Detective Pikachu” is the best video game movie ever, but “Pokémon” may have met its match in “John Wick: Chapter 3.” Okay, so the “John Wick” films aren’t technically based on a video game, but you can definitely see how the franchise’s shootouts and revenge plot might’ve been inspired by certain gaming tropes. Actually, “John Wick” is probably the closest we’re ever going to get to a good “Max Payne” or “Hitman” movie. It appears this third chapter takes things to the next level (no pun intended), as Forbes’ Scott Mendelson described the film as “a living video game.” In that sense, this should be the video game movie we always wanted, but never thought we could have.


#1: It’s the Best of the Franchise


Remember how “The Matrix” movies started out on a high note, but left audiences high and dry with its sequels? Well, the “John Wick” movies have fortunately managed to avoid a similar fate. “Chapter 2” was one of the rare follow-ups that lived up to its predecessor. Based on the enthusiastic social media posts, John Wick’s latest outing may be the best action threequel since “The Bourne Ultimatum.” JTE Movie Thinks! put the film on a pedestal, writing, “Action wise it’s the best of the franchise with a great mix of gun and hand to hand combat.” Now, let’s see if Reeves can fit another winning trilogy under his belt when “Bill & Ted Face the Music” comes out in 2020!
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