Ya'll like that John Wick fella? (FULL SPOILERS)

Holy crap. I need to talk about John Wick 3. It satisfied ALL of my bullshit. It’s got action, it’s got lore nonsense, it’s got Mark Dacascos, it’s got a fight with a giant man, it’s got a dude getting kicked in the head by a horse, twice, that is, two different dudes get kicked by a horse, it’s even got yet another song from an edgy 90’s alt-rock band!

This really felt like the culmination of Stahelski, Kolstad, Reeves, and everyone else’s work since the release of the first film. The scope is grander, the fight scenes more meticulous and Keanu maybe gives the performance of his career? God, it’s so GOOD AND JOYOUS to see western action flicks with some effort put in (where I also don’t have to worry about space pope baggage).

I also think I want Asia Kate Dillon to send someone to beat me up, but that’s maybe a personal thing. I’ll just stop typing now…

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Yep! I mean, it’s basically John Wick: MORE JOHN WICK HUH, but executed almost perfectly.

Some stray notes: Thinking on it some, I like how the interactions with Zero and his gang sort of wink at the whole franchise while also being stunningly choreographed, brutal and exciting. Kind of weirdly, they’re also among the few slow moments where Wick gets to be a little self-reflective.

It was good to see Zavala get some action.

Can they possibly pull off a fourth?! Will Fishburne and Reeves storm the administration building in another Matrix call-back?! Will he get that ring back?

I’m not sure about the Casablanca detour. While I loved the settings, deep lore dive, and big change in color palette, I didn’t think Halle Berry had the weight she needed. And while the bodies were piling up in the courtyard shootout, it occurred to me that “hey, here’s a couple of westerners killing an awful lot of masked, turbaned guys” – which I realize isn’t really different from Wick killing dozens of guys in ninja masks, Italian suits or body armor, either, but I found myself noticing it. Honestly not sure what to do with that observation.

I want to know so much more about the administrators!

I think, but am not 100% sure, that Wick was at least partially in on Winston’s turning on him. Winston surely knew his suit would stop those bullets and could only hope Wick would survive that (juddering, agonizing) fall. That’s partly because I don’t want Wick to go to war on the Hotel. But … ?

What kind of knife museum was that, anyway?

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I really like Keanu. And I definitely enjoy a good fight scene. But I was surprised in that, the things I liked most were the world building and production but I was left cold by the last third of the movie.

I think the underworld the John Wick movies show is super cool. It’s so stylized and thoughtful. Seeing administrative headquarters and spending so much time in the continental is really cool. The set design for the initial fight scenes is fantastic. JW3 has a feel and a world that is fantastic.

But the main focus of it is the fighting. And I love the first extended fight scene. The First 20 minutes are amazing and feel really inventive. The Escape from New York sequence feels cohesive and pulls all sorts of surprises from its box. But, and maybe it’s because I prefer movies with hand-to-hand, as time went on the movie felt violent but also bored with its violence. Shots to the head become commonplace as John mows down Nathan Drake numbers. In a way, the fights lose their momentum as they’re literally henchman to get to the next big bad. By the time the climactic sequence happens I was honestly hoping it would wrap up.

I mean, there’s no way to fix it, I think? I just might be a bad viewer for these films, haha. A part of me just wishes I could get the inventiveness and neat world, but maybe in a shorter package.

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I totally get where you’re coming from. Like with Zero literally waiting for Wick to finish up with his guys before fighting him – that’s very Video Game, and it felt a little jarring that this guy we’ve never seen before is like a yellow bar boss? I guess that fits with the mythology of this weird world.

I think my read is compatible with everything you’re seeing, but at the most generous end of the spectrum, which is that I think the producers know exactly what the movie is and they’re going to do all of it. For me, most of it lands.

100% agree that vignettes of the world and lore would be really cool. Oooh – you know what would be amazing? Something like an Animatrix but for John Wick.

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This is the longest of these movies at two hours and ten minutes and I admit that I was starting to feel the length around the end of fight with Zero and the shinobi’s

If there is a John Wick 4, I think they would do well to pare it down to something similar to the first film

Yeah. The Casablanca and Continental sequences felt extremely video game to me. Though I enjoyed the idea that there’s these unknown assassins the world over who are very dangerous. Actually I felt conflicted by the end. The movie wants us to be wary of Zero, but also to fear and respect him? The way they left him felt… strange.

Absolutely. I think what the movie does, it does well, I just think that perhaps it doesn’t skew with me. I can’t think of any alternatives that would satisfy what I’m looking for and at the same time keep it a John Wick film.

I’d love an anthology of shorts about other assassins or gathering places around the world. Honestly. I hate cinematic universes but I also think a thriller that follows a person or group staying in the Continental would be amazing.

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It should be worth noting that they actually are working on a spin off film called Ballerina, and there are plans for a crossover with Atomic Blonde

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The most tense moment in this film for me was when the assassins were shooting wildly in the horse stable. I was really scared one of the horses might get hit.

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Everyone bringing up comparisons to John Wick and video games are right on the mark, and to me, it kinda summarizes why I felt let down a bit by Parabellum. The action in the first John Wick felt so satisfying because it did have a tactile video game feel to it. There was a great care to show the spacial and reasoning logic behind the action with parsable rules that are easy to follow. John is skilled, but mortal. A gunshot basically anywhere but the head typically isn’t fatal. And clip sizes mattered, dammit.

These rules made the OG John Wick’s action feel like a speedrunner going through GoldenEye or Titanfall 2. And it’s why Parabellum just doesn’t feel as satisfying to me. John is walking through the Continental firing like a dozen bullets before reloading, and the High Table forces are those endgame damage sponge enemies that ruin basically every shooter campaign. The action becomes repetitive and illogical at times. Don’t get me wrong, some of the choreography was outstanding, but it just felt like a lesser John Wick in my opinion.

I would absolutely watch Halle Berry and her doggos fuck up some bad guys in a spinoff tho. But it would have to start with a disclaimer saying “It’s cool, the dogs never get hurt.”

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The Casablanca fight scene reminded me so much of overly long enemy wave battles in Uncharted games. Like specifically Uncharted 1, in the worst way.

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Has Keanu’s Judo gotten better? Am I hallucinating that?

Well this is really cool:


I didn’t know that Dillon was nonbinary and when they suggested that the Adjudicator should be nb as well, the filmakers just removed all the gendered references

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IIRC they did something similar with Ruby Rose’s character in Chapter 2 - Ares.

john wick 4 coming out 2021, assuming we’re all still here

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Love these movies so much. I think their surreal and playful elements get overlooked. The physicality says as much as the words. There’s ballet, ninjas, a knife fight inspired by snowball fights from the director’s childhood and a Caravaggio painting.

The Uncharted 3 moment where Nate is lost in the desert was all I could think about when John stumbled about in that same way.

This is a good interview with the director on indie wire:
https://podcasts.apple.com/by/podcast/john-wick-director-chad-stahelski/id1142632832?i=1000438914783

I liked this movie more than 2 overall but holy shit the journey to the elder and that character was like, so bad after they already revealed a bit of the hierarchy in 2. It felt like the script needed another pass to make this fit, like they wanted to sort of have this unseen but omnipotent “heavenly” equivalent to Laurence Fishburne’s underworld king. The class divide between them and the high table was something they originally wanted this movie to be fully abouy but that whole sequence just felt like weird wheel spinning. I would have just confined it to the foundry making the coins and just have that region’s high table or whatever person be there. The rest of his quest to find himself or whatever felt tacked on, plus in an already weak score we got the super generic annoying Middle Eastern Mysticism music.

Speaking of mysticism, again, like they want to again have this near mystical depiction of the guy running the show but the way things are shown in 2, like that just isn’t how stuff works. Like in the second movie we learn that Santino and his sister are members of the Camorra which is an irl old crime syndicate with various feuding families. Like having another “no no these are the REAL ancient crime people running the show” on top of that felt really weird.

Plus I fucking hate the Exotic Arab Mysticism shit, it double frustrates me because there’s clearly some effort on the representation front in the movies, but naw we’re in an Arab country just have it be a brainless horde of dudes in head scarves lead by a “civilized” rich white guy.

Again with a tighter script yeah they could have played with how each major group has sort of an underground side to it like they do with Fishburne or with Anjelica Houston’s character and how they all periodically feud with each other. The movie felt lime they were going for that but wanted to pad it so they’d have a story for a fourth movie. And again, like, I don’t know I hear that generic Mysterious Middle East Stuff music and it just immediately makes me lose interest.

Still loved the movie overall though and am already hype for John Wick 4. I am sad that Mark Dacascos died though. :frowning: That man is 55 years old, like holy shit.

People brought up how you could see things slowing down at times, when I was watching the movie, remember how it opens up with the doctor and how he has John shoot him twice to make sure he can convincingly seem like he didn’t help John out willingly. Because of that I was actually expecting some kind of convoluted face turn where the ninjas were going “easy” on John because they were working with Winston or with Laurence Fishburne the entire time like they faked his execution or something. Partially because it was spoiled for me ahead of time that that character lives.

If they go the TV series route it’d be a great way to have like Ruby Rose’s character from 2/etc. pop up again. IIRC from when they were talking about that they would have Reeves pop up occasionally in it as a cameo or show up as a force of nature towards the end of a story arc that throws stuff into disarray. Could be cool.

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John Wick 4 Center Axis Reloaded

After getting seemingly the entire world after his head again, John Wick goes to yet another heretofore unmentioned criminal power that owes him a favor, the wild Yakuza Goro Majima, the Mad Dog of Shimano.

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Oh my god, you mean how Zero, the character, dies, right?

You had me legit terrified for a hot second

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I like that John Wick fella, I did not like his third movie.

It was mostly just a bummer with some action scenes that I couldn’t figure out the purpose of beyond being action to fill the movie.

In the end I was mostly bored. Nothing of consequence happened. Both he and the world are functionally in the same spot that we left 2 from. Hopefully 4 is good, then that way on rewatch I can just skip 3 entirely and miss absolutely nothing.

1 is an amazing movie that tells a simple story and hints at wider things without delving too deep into the nitty gritty. 2 tells a slightly more complicated story and shows more of the world but I still cared about everything happening. 3 abandons all of that and tells no story while showing way too much of this world that should have been left to the imagination. My simple way to explain it is 1 is set in our world but there’s secret assassins, 2 is our world but the assassins aren’t secret, 3 is just a world of no one but assassins. Maybe that sounds cool but in practice it really wasn’t. I need a grounding.

You need to do something more than showing me Keanu Reeves doing cool action moves. I’ve seen that, it was the first two movies and much of his other filmography.

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John Wick 5: Check Out Our IMFDB Page

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