We have our first wave of reactions for John Wick 3: Parabellum. Lionsgate managed to deliver the makings of a rather unsuspecting, absolutely blistering modern action franchise when the first John Wick debuted somewhat quietly in 2014. We're now entering the third installment, which looks like it's yet again going to turn Keanu Reeves into an assassin the likes of which the world has never seen. But does the movie deliver the goods beyond crazy action sequences?
The answer, so far, seems to be a resounding yes. Virtually every critic who has weighed in on social media so far has received the Keanu Reeves positively, if not glowingly. Erik Davis of Fandango went so far as to call it the best of the trilogy. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Finally allowed to say that #JohnWick3 is hands down the best of the three movies. Ridiculously inventive fight scenes, lots more world building & great villains. There is a knife fight in this movie that is aces. Also, Halle Berry's character needs her own series"
While not everyone who has weighed in so far is willing to call it the best of the series, there is scarcely any outright negativity in regards to the sequel. There seems to be a great deal of praise for Halle Berry's new character, and everyone seems to really love the new dogs being introduced in this entry as well. Mike Ryan of Uproxx had a pretty interesting reaction, calling this movie awesome, even though he's not a huge fan of the first two.
"In other news, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is pretty awesome. I don't even love the other two, but this one was stellar."
Director Chad Stahelski, who co-directed the first movie with David Leitch and flew solo for Chapter 2, has proved that he has a knack for action. Though, based on all of the reactions, it seems that he's outdone himself this time around with several of the action set pieces contained in John Wick 3. Eric Francisco of Inverse, while still positive overall, had one of the only takes that even approaches negativity.
"#JohnWick3 is the electrifying end, if it is the end, of John Wick. It's not a perfect movie but it cements John Wick as the definitive action icon of the 2010s. The movie begins on a high note and, exhaustingly, keeps it up the entire time. Also: Very good dogs."
If the worst anyone is willing to say is that this movie isn't perfect, as few movies ever are, we should be in very good shape. Will this be the final entry in the franchise? That will be easier to answer once more people have seen it. If so, it sounds like Mr. Wick could be going out on a high note. Lionsgate is set to unleash John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum in theaters on May 17. Be sure to check out more of the early reactions we've collected below.
More reactions! Finally allowed to say that #JohnWick3 is hands down the best of the three movies. Ridiculously inventive fight scenes, lots more world building & great villains. There is a knife fight in this movie that is aces. Also, Halle Berry’s character needs her own series pic.twitter.com/Tp3xWrK82d— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) May 3, 2019
In other news, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM is pretty awesome. I don’t even love the other two, but this one was stellar.— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) May 3, 2019
John Wick 3 is my favourite film of 2019, and it’ll take a lot to beat it. From the first punch to the final bullet, it‘s truly transcendent action cinema. It’s also the closest thing to South Korean cinematic structuring I’ve seen in an American film, high praise! Pure art! pic.twitter.com/1KQwxRpowi— Sam Ashurst (@samashurst) May 3, 2019
#JohnWick3 is AWESOME. Some of the action set pieces are so insane you’ll wonder how director Chad Stahelski and his team filmed them. Saying that, the @Halleberry/#KeanuReeves set piece featuring her dogs might be my favorite. Wait till you see this one. Esp if you like dogs... pic.twitter.com/ym2Tn012xw— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) May 3, 2019
I cannot even begin to describe how good the dogs in #JohnWick3 are— Vinnie Mancuso (@VinnieMancuso1) May 3, 2019
Chock full of inventive set-pieces and brutal kills, while also providing new facets to the intricate underworld lore fans of the franchise have come to love, #JohnWick3 will please fans of the franchise. pic.twitter.com/Pxa30kG11d— Jim Vejvoda (@JimVejvoda) May 3, 2019
Onto my proper #JohnWick3 reaction: Pure visceral cinema. After the dramatic world expansion of CHAPTER 2, CHAPTER 3 returns to a leaner, exhilarating story chock full of breathless, bone-crunching action and even a few laughs. I was sweating 30 minutes in. This movie RULES.— Hoai-Tran Bui (@htranbui) May 3, 2019
Our own @JimmytotheO has seen @JohnWickMovie! #JohnWick3#Parabellum! He calls it “... an ass kicking, ramped up thrill ride with amazing characters that continues to prove that director #ChadStahelski and #KeanuReeves make a perfect cinematic partnership.” pic.twitter.com/hs7GTzBWL0— JoBlo.com (@joblocom) May 3, 2019
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 — PARABELLUM fucks! It’s chock full of insane action, the mythology of The Continental, and a slew of colorful antagonists. #JohnWick3— No Context Sean Mulvihill (@NotSPMulvihill) May 3, 2019
#JohnWick3 is action at its finest. It raises the bar for the franchise and adds new depth to the#JohnWick universe. @asiakatedillon, @halleberry and @mark_dacascos are all great additions.— Brent Goldman (@bgoldman22) May 3, 2019
It also features what may be my favorite kill of all three films.@FilmInquirypic.twitter.com/n2qgBUmEkk
#JohnWick3 continues to build on the series' mythology and has some of the coolest action and most memorable side characters of the entire series. I'm not sure about everything it adds, and certain things will be controversial (no spoilers). But overall it's more @JohnWickMovie! pic.twitter.com/Vodcx2nJwE— Mike Rougeau (@RogueCheddar) May 3, 2019
There's a bit in #JohnWick 3 where 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.— Ethan Alter (@ethanalter) May 3, 2019
#JohnWick3: A eye-popping, jaw-dropping, show-stopping killer. Extends world-building dynamics beautifully, but also assigns meaningful resonance to character-driven action. Keanu Reeves is perfect, @AsiaKateDillon is magnetic & @halleberry kicks ass. ❤️’d every stellar minute! pic.twitter.com/cIBF61IZK1— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) May 3, 2019
#JohnWick3 delivers. More insane fights, more lore, more dogs and those assasins played by The Raid-guys. Wow.— Steffen (@TvMaurer) May 3, 2019
#JohnWick3 is the electrifying end, if it is the end, of John Wick. It’s not a perfect movie but it cements John Wick as the definitive action icon of the 2010s. The movie begins on a high note and, exhaustingly, keeps it up the entire time. Also: VERY GOOD DOGS. pic.twitter.com/h5TVkNy3sP— Eric Francisco (@RedMaskEric) May 3, 2019