If you want war, prepare for Wick…

John Wick 3 Review

John Wick is the living personification of martial arts and Parabellum is the masterpiece he is about to paint, as the character continues to have the worst week in human history.  The more you hurt him, the harder he becomes. He improvises, adapts and overcomes until there is no other left standing. He is quite simply death personified by gun, knife or hand to hand.


UAMC Reviews: John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum #1

Taking place ten minutes after the events of Chapter 2, Wick has been excommunicated and has one hour before a fourteen million dollar contract becomes active and every assassin in the world comes calling. Turns out, Wick has some blood markers of his own and needs to get across town to the public library to retrieve them from a book hidden in the stacks. So begins his quest for a meeting with the High Table to plead his case to spare his life so he can go on to become the man his late wife always wanted him to be. But before that, there’s killing. Lots and lots of killing.

Chapter 3 Begins

The High Table sends a woman known as an Adjudicator to make sure Wick pays for his crimes. She enlists a sushi chef who’s also a master assassin named Zero, played by Mark Dacascos, and his two ninja students to burn down anybody who has aided and abetted Wick in the past. Turns out the High Table also has plans for Mr. Wick. Will he become the blunt instrument of the High Table or will he continue to strive to regain his humanity. That is the question.

But before we have our answer, prepare yourself for action set pieces in every conceivable venue. A knife fight in an antique weapons emporium, a horse stable, a swimming pool, on motorcycles, in a desert and in a marketplace in Casablanca of all places. It tops itself with a homage to Enter The Dragon with a fight in a museum made of glass. And this is after Wick is joined by Charon the concierge to take out a literal bus full of commandos as they invade The Continental.

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Ultimate Martial Arts Done Right

Mark Dacascos in John Wick 3 (2019).

You will never see martial arts done more right then in this movie. Sambo, Judo. Silat. Muay Thai, Western boxing, Kali, Capoeira, and a healthy dose of Gun Fu. They are all on display here. Dacascos have never been better as he is given the honor of hunting his idol and his taunting of Wick is hilarious. And if Zero’s henchmen look familiar as they tag team our protagonist, it’s because it’s Mad Dog and the fight team from The Raid movies, bringing a healthy dose of Indonesian Silat to the party. And if that’s not enough, we have Halle Berry and her two dogs joining in the mayhem.

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Chad Stahelski Shines

To say this movie is Tarantino-esque in a way we haven’t seen since 2003’s Kill Bill would be selling the franchise’s director Chad Stahelski short. He has now blazed new trails in action cinema in his creation of the Wick-verse. At 51, Stahelski is a martial artist himself trained by none other then Guro Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s number one student.  He is able to choreograph these fights as only a trained fighter could and his time as a stuntman has taught him how to film them. 

Quite the wicked combination. But did you know that Stahelski was a friend and training partner to the late Brandon Lee, Bruce’s son, who died tragically on the set of The Crow?  It was Stahelski who stepped in as an actor to film Lee’s remaining scenes to complete the movie. He later went on to become Keanu’s stunt double on The Matrix movies. He has now become the movies foremost world builder outside of the Marvel Universe and master of mayhem.

I don’t think I would be spoiling anything if I confirm that John Wick is indeed back and members of the High Table can expect a visitor in the immediate future. If Parabellum is Latin for “If you want peace, prepare for war”, I wonder what is Latin for “ If you want war, prepare for Wick”?

This author wishes to maintain his secret identity goes by the name of his favorite comic book hero Iron Fist. When he’s not collecting comics from his childhood, watching action movies or raising his three kids, he works a a police officer, trains Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, Kali and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Needless to say, he takes poor martial arts or sloppy gun handling skills personally. And he lives and trains in Chicago.

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