or the neon green of LEDs, he always finds an excuse to add it. On top of that is the great shot composition; there are many perfectly centered wide shots, mediums, and creative use of capturing the action taking place. It's honestly really great stuff that tells the audience that someone is paying attention to all the details.
Where the movie falls apart is pretty much everywhere else. When you go to see John Wick, the only things you should be expecting are action, a little bit of story, and more action. So when I say that I wanted to fall asleep during action sequences, this becomes a really big problem. For unknown reasons, the action is slowed down compared to the first two. Instead of the lightning-fast reaction time and beautifully choreographed fight sequences, all of that was replaced with slow and clunky movement. There were too many moments where good ideas were overused and I couldn't savor any of it. Instead of being delighted by what was going to come next, I could see it. Opponents slowly striking Keanu Reeves so he had time to block it or gags used one too many times. You never get to relive the feeling you from watching John Wick or Chapter 2 as he expertly takes out waves of enemies. Instead, it looks like everyone is letting him win, or more accurately, the choreography just wasn't as good.
There was also a really annoying use and lack of music. In a growing trend to be more like Steven Speilberg, the first three fight scenes do not include any music whatsoever. Relying solely on sound effects and grunts made by the combatants to fill out the sequence, this attempt at making the combat more "artsy" doesn't work. Even in later scenes when there is music to accompany the action, it doesn't make a difference since the choreography is so slow. There were also stretches of the movie where the same sound effects were used over and over which was really jarring. You have characters crashing through glass and hear the same glass sound over and over. Then in one fight, the wrong hit sound effect is used, making a slap sound like a full on punch.
Then comes the complete 180 that is the plot of Chapter 3 - Parabellum. It's obvious that there was a large story reduction in the sequel compared to the first, so this installment layers it on thick. It's not just that there are more story elements than before, its how they're used and which ones are thrust into the spotlight. Instead of John Wick being in a world that has a seedy underbelly with its own rules, the whole franchise becomes about that ecosystem. The garnish has become the meal as events in this movie happen just to set up things for a potential fourth installment. It seems characters are motivated by magic as people break rules established in the first two films as law. Logic and character development are thrown out of the window as John Wick scrambles to become a franchise of its own. It does do a good job fleshing out more of the world, but not for its own sake.
John Wick Chapter 3 - Parabellum is the most disappointing experience I've had in entertainment. One character says you have to kill what you love to protect it, which made The Last Jedi comparison much easier. It seems that a lot of critics really enjoyed this movie, and I've outlined some areas that it does excel in, but they are mistaken. This film is a string of disappointments that don't stop after you leave the theater. I don't want a sequel, I don't want to see it again, but I will watch the planned spinoff. The extra world building done here did a great job potentially setting that up and I am curious to see more of that setting. So you should not see this movie if you haven’t seen the other ones. You probably shouldn’t see it at all, but if you do plan on seeing it eventually, it might be better in a theater. The visuals are too gorgeous on a large screen to pass up… maybe.
With characters wasted, relationships thrown by the wayside, I am ready to do the same with this franchise