There are very few films that can compel me to visit a theater at this stage of life. I like to be able to hit the pause button and go get another glass of wine and you just can’t do that in the movie theater. Luckily the theater within walking distance of where I’m staying now had power reclining captains chairs and I happened to arrive just before the first Saturday showing without checking the schedule on-line. John Wick 3 translates well to the small screen. I also own a copy of the movie.
Yes, I’ve seen the previous movies. I even picked up a discount copy of the second installment at Target on Friday and watched it again because I really wanted to be into the movie before I went to see it. You really need to watch the second one just before you go see this one as this one starts right as that one ends. No multi-year gaps in the time line and no flashbacks to help a newbie get into the movie. John Wick 3 was completely for the fans and it delivers. People who don’t understand the appeal of this franchise really don’t understand the heart and soul of American culture.
A boy and his dog
This is a time honored tradition in American story telling and it is unique to America. We also happen to be a country with millions of dog lovers. Oh yes, there are other countries touting blood lines and dog shows, but this is a country where it is okay for a boy to love a mutt. If you are of a certain age you grew up loving Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and countless other tales. Those tales have even been updated to include A Dog’s Purpose.
I highly recommend you also watch Colombiana before you see this installment. The two movies aren’t directly connected, at least not yet, but there is one story line in this installment which makes a whole lot more sense if you’ve seen Colombiana. It’s the flip side of the underlying story “A girl and her dogs.”
The dog thing is a running crowd pleasing gag in this installment. Not overplayed, just well played. Anyone who ever loved a dog can understand how John Wick came to be.
Muscle cars downplayed
The classic muscle car theme was played down a bit in this installment. It’s a fading era with electric cars and hybrids taking to the streets. The funniest scene ever in the “Fast & Furious” franchise was when Roman Pierce was lining up his rice rocket against “fonze” and his Detroit iron. Roman is revving his engine and they show the tach going way over, he thinks he’s cool. Camera cuts to “fonze” who gooses the Detroit beast and you see him rise up and Roman’s face falls. Most kids don’t get that scene. Rice rocket had high RPMs but the Detroit iron had so much torque it twisted the frame.
Muscle – it’s not just speed.
Yes, today’s electric cars may have 500 hp electric motors and snap off the line without much in the way of acceleration time, but you don’t get the feel of muscle or the thunder of the beast. Going 200 MPH in a silent ride isn’t a thrill.
John Wick 3 understands what franchise really means
This installment understood what franchise really means. Bring back the characters fans love and add parts for actors too long missing from the big screen. Angelica Houston makes an appearance here. Yes, she’s been in a lot, but not much which has a lasting cultural impact since This is Spinal Tap. and Lonesome Dove.
Lance Reddick does another outstanding job in this installment. He’s even given a much bigger role. Yeah, his character endeared itself to the fan base by taking care of the dog without a name.
People who want non-stop violence should be pretty happy with this. I think the movie used every stunt actor in the world for the fight scenes. This movie also seemed to keep the computer generated stuff to a minimum. Oh, I’m sure much of the sets were just green screen with CGI painted in later, but the action scenes were actual action.
A new bad person for John Wick fans to hate
Asia Kate Dillon makes an appearance as the Adjudicator, a new bad person for fans to hate. I must admit to never having seen anything she’s been in before, but she managed to reek style in this film. Style is one thing this movie has in all four suits, including evening tactical.
Pay attention to the body armor The High Table’s elite troops are wearing. I gotta believe the DOD (and probably every other defense department around the world) is currently funding research to actually build that armor. It was not unbelievable, just unknown right now. Do you think I’m being too fanciful? You need to find the 007 interviews with cast and crew for “Thunderball.” The military actually reached out to inquire if the re-breather actually existed and just how well it worked. I kid you not. Millitaries around the world love spy and action flicks because that’s where they get some of their best research ideas. In fact, re-breathers now exist. You can be certain that within a few years to a few decades, someone will figure out how to make that body armor. It works like most people erroneously think body armor works, the bullets ricochet off it so the body doesn’t have to absorb the blow. Well, at least until those new 12 gauge shells come into play, but, enough spoilers.
Fans of the franchise will love this installment. It was totally loyal to the customer base.