Even outlaws have rules: Killer John Wick ( Keanu Reeves ) has to experience this firsthand when he becomes an outcast after violating the rules. What’s more, a handsome bounty now lures all other assassins to hunt him down. While John calls in old favors from former companions, the High Chamber sends a representative ( Asia Kate Dillon ) to New York City to hold everyone who helped him accountable. The dreaded Assassin Zero ( Mark Dacascos ) helps her, and he is only too happy to take part in this hunt.
John Wick was certainly one of the biggest surprises of the year in 2014. Not only that Keanu Reeves, who recently had a bad hand in choosing roles, was finally seen again in a much-needed hit. The film was actually entertaining as well. A lot more entertaining than the essentially mundane story of a retired killer would have suggested. The ingredients of the recipe for success: cracking action scenes, a lot of sense of style, plus a sense of humor. The latter is a little lost in John Wick: Chapter 2. In its place, however, came a whole parallel universe of killers, secret organizations and a bloody code of honor.
John Wick: Chapter 3 continues the path we have taken, only expanding the scope of these arguments. If there were clear antagonists in the first two parts, against whom Wick had to defend himself, one is missing here. Or better: The entire killer community is now the antagonist. This allows the screenwriters to actually include anything that comes to their mind. If everyone can hunt down the disgraced assassin, and fight almost anywhere, that means creative freedom.
In the great first third, the four-man screenwriting team knows how to use this freedom. Both the locations and the often improvised choice of weapons are among the highlights of the series. Anyone who valued John Wick because of the elegant yet very bloody fights will find confirmation that is as chic as it is entertaining. Director Chad Stahelski, who started his career as a stuntman, proves once again how much he knows about his work.