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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChad Stahelski
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story byDerek Kolstad
Based onCharacters
by Derek Kolstad
Music by
CinematographyDan Laustsen
Edited byEvan Schiff
Distributed bySummit Entertainment
Release date
  • May 9, 2019 (2019-05-09) (Brooklyn)
  • May 17, 2019 (2019-05-17) (United States)
Running time
131 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$55 million[2]
Box office$109.7 million[3]

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (also known as John Wick: Chapter 3 or simply John Wick 3) is a 2019 American neo-noir action film starring Keanu Reeves as the titular character. It is the third installment in the John Wick film series, following John Wick (2014) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). The film is directed by Chad Stahelski[4] and written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, based on a story by Kolstad. It also stars Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, and Ian McShane. In the film, ex-hitman John Wick finds himself on the run from legions of assassins after a $14 million contract is put on his head.

The first film was always meant to begin a series, and a third installment was announced in June 2017. Much of the returning cast and crew was confirmed in February 2018, with new members joining that May. Filming began that month and lasted through November, taking place in New York City, Montreal, and Morocco.

John Wick: Chapter 3 was theatrically released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by Summit Entertainment. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the fight choreography, visual style, and Reeves' performance.[5]


Shortly after the events of the previous film, former hitman John Wick is now a marked man and on the run in Manhattan. After the unsanctioned killing of crime lord and new member of the High Table, Santino D'Antonio, in the New York City Continental, he is declared "excommunicado" by his handlers at the High Table and placed under a $14 million bounty. On the run from assassins, John reaches the New York Public Library and recovers a crucifix necklace and a "marker" medallion from a secret cache in a book. He fights his way through numerous assassins populating New York City until he reaches The Director, a woman from his past, who accepts the crucifix as a "ticket" for safe passage to Casablanca, Morocco. Due to this, she had Wick branded as a mark that he used up all her favors.

Meanwhile, an adjudicator with the High Table meets with Winston, the manager of the New York City Continental, and the Bowery King, the leader of a network of vagrant assassins. The adjudicator admonishes both for helping John Wick after his excommunication, and both are given seven days to give up their offices or face serious consequences.

In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and the manager of the Casablanca Continental. He presents his marker medallion, which represents an unbreakable promise between assassins, and asks Sofia to honor it. He asks for directions to The Elder, a high-ranking member of the High Table, so that he can ask to have his bounty waived. Sofia takes him to an assassin named Berrada, who tells John that he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he cannot walk any longer. In exchange for this information, he asks for one of Sofia's dogs; when Sofia refuses, he shoots the dog. In a bout of rage, Sofia shoots Berrada and with John, fight their way out of the kasbah and flee into the desert.

Having fulfilled her marker, Sofia leaves John in the desert. He roams until he collapses from exhaustion but is found by The Elder's men. John explains his actions, saying he is desperate to live on to "earn" the memory of the love he once had with his wife. The Elder agrees to forgive John but only if he assassinates Winston and continues to work for the High Table until his death. To show his commitment, John severs his ring finger and gives his wedding ring to The Elder.

Meanwhile, the adjudicator recruits Zero, an assassin, and his followers to enforce the will of the High Table. With Zero's help, the adjudicator accosts the Director and the Bowery King. As penance, both are maimed, the Bowery King almost fatally. John arrives back in New York City and is pursued by Zero's men, but he escapes to the Continental and takes sanctuary. He meets with Winston, who encourages John not to die as a killer but as a man who loved and was loved by his wife. The adjudicator arrives, but Winston refuses to give up his office, and John refuses to kill Winston.

As a consequence, the adjudicator "deconsecrates" the Continental, allowing assassins to execute in the building. The adjudicator then notifies Zero and his men and calls in a large group of High Table enforcers as their support. With the help of the hotel's concierge, Charon, John defends the Continental from the enforcers. The enforcers were able to easily kill most of Charon's men due to their bulletproof armor and made it difficult for John to kill each one. This forced John and Charon to get shotguns loaded with 12Ga armor-piercing slugs and were able to eliminate the enforcers. John later gets ambushed by Zero's pupils and defeats all of them, leaving only two alive, and kills Zero after their fight.

The adjudicator negotiates a parley with Winston, who explains the rebellion as a "show of strength" and offers penance to the High Table. John arrives, and when the adjudicator identifies him as a threat to the negotiation, Winston betrays John by shooting him off the Continental's roof. The Continental returns to operation, but the adjudicator informs Winston that John's body has disappeared and that he remains a threat for both of them. Meanwhile, a wounded John Wick is delivered to the heavily-scarred Bowery King, who tells John he is angry with the High Table and will be fighting against them. He asks John if he feels the same way, and John agrees.


Additionally, Riccardo Scamarcio cameos as Santino d'Antonio's corpse, Tobias Segal plays Earl, and Roger Yuan, Arjon Bashiri, Tiger Chen, Vladimir and Vlado Mihailov, Danish Bhatt, and Candace M. Smith play assassins.


In October 2016, Chad Stahelski, who made his directorial debut with John Wick and served as Reeves' Matrix stunt double,[6] stated that a third film in the John Wick series was in the works,[7] and in June 2017 it was reported that Derek Kolstad, who wrote the two prior films, would return to write the screenplay.[8] In January 2018, it was reported that Stahelski would return to direct.[9]

According to Reeves, the film's title was taken from the famous 4th-century Roman military quote "Si vis pacem, para bellum," which means, "If you want peace, prepare for war."[10] In an interview with The New York Times, McShane said that the film would be big, good, and that nothing is the same while also hinting that part of the action could be the High Table's payback not only on Wick but also on his close friend Winston.[11]


In January 2018, it was reported that Hiroyuki Sanada was in talks to join the cast.[9] Later, it was revealed that Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick would reprise their roles from previous John Wick films.[12] In May 2018, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos, Jason Mantzoukas, Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Arif Rahman and Tiger Chen joined the cast.[13][14][15] In November 2018, Said Taghmaoui confirmed his involvement in the film.[16]

Principal photography

Filming began May 5, 2018, in New York City and Montreal, along with the additional filming locations of Morocco. Principal photography wrapped on November 17, 2018.[12][17][18] Cinematographer Dan Laustsen was asked about how challenging it was to use as many extended fight scene takes as possible while filming the high action screenplay. He stated, "Of course it is (a challenge), because all the fights – Chad (the director) is doing most of the fights himself. We play that as wide as we can. Because that way we see it’s him. We do that a lot, we try to play it as wide as we can and do long shots. Of course, because Chad has a background from the stunt world he knows exactly how to block this kind of stuff. I’m not the best stunt person in the world, but I’m learning."[19] In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Halle Berry said, "I broke three ribs in rehearsal."[20]

Visual effects

The visual effects are provided by Method Studios, Image Engine and Soho VFX.[21]


Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard return to score the film. The soundtrack will be released by Varese Sarabande Records.


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum premiered in Brooklyn, New York on May 9, 2019.[22] The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment.[23]


Box office

As of May 22, 2019, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has grossed $73.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $36.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $109.7 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was released alongside A Dog's Journey and The Sun Is Also a Star and was initially projected to gross $30–40 million from 3,850 theaters in its opening weekend.[24][25] The film made $5.9 million from Thursday night previews, more than the total of the Thursday night previews for the previous two films ($950,000 and $2.2 million). It then made $22.7 million on its first day (including previews), increasing estimated to $56 million. It went on to debut to $57 million, becoming the first film to dethrone Avengers: Endgame atop the box office. It was the best opening of the series, and more than the first film made during its entire theatrical run ($43 million).[26]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 245 reviews, with an average rating of 7.45/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum reloads for another hard-hitting round of the brilliantly choreographed, over-the-top action that fans of the franchise demand."[27] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[28] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same as its predecessor, while those at PostTrak gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and a "definite recommend" of 75%.[26]

Peter Sobczynski of gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, calling it "a work of pop cinema so blissfully, albeit brutally, entertaining that you come out of it feeling even more resentful of its multiplex neighbors for not making a similar effort."[29] Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of "A-", writing that "as gorgeously choreographed, gratuitously violent action movies go, it's high art".[30] Wendy Ide of The Observer gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "a flying kick to the senses" and writing that "The spectacular third instalment in Keanu Reeves's fighting franchise overwhelms with opulent martial arts set pieces".[31]


On May 20, 2019, following the third film's successful debut, John Wick: Chapter 4 was announced and given a May 21, 2021, release date.[32]


  1. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) - British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Scott Mendelsohn (May 19, 2019). "Box Office: 'John Wick 3' Tops 'Avengers 4' With Huge $57 Million Debut". Forbes. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Grow, Kory (2019-03-21). "See Keanu Reeves Shoot Countless People in New 'John Wick 3' Trailer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  5. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum': What the Critics Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Romano, Aja (2019-01-17). "John Wick 3: Pride trailer: Keanu is back". Vox. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  7. ^ Page, Aubrey (October 10, 2016). "'John Wick 3' Already in the Works, Reveals Director Chad Stahelski; 'Chapter 2' Details Teased". Collider. Archived from the original on September 15, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (June 1, 2017). "'John Wick 3' Brings Back Writer Derek Kolstad (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 15, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Romano, Nick. "John Wick 3 brings back Chad Stahelski to direct". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  10. ^ Huff, Steve. "'John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum': Here's What We Know So Far". Maxim. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  11. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (2019-03-08). "Ian McShane Puts All His [Expletives] in the Right Place". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  12. ^ a b Marc, Christopher (February 14, 2018). "'John Wick: ' Begins Filming In April, Slightly Earlier Than Expected - Omega Underground". Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  13. ^ "'John Wick: Chapter 3' Casts Halle Berry". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Dave McNary (2018-05-21). "'John Wick: Chapter 3' Adds Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston". Variety. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Anita Busch (2018-05-21). "Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston Join Returning Cast For 'John Wick". Deadline. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  16. ^ Marc, Christopher (November 4, 2018). "Wonder Woman Actor Said Taghmaoui Confirms He's Joined The Cast of John Wick 3 Currently Shooting In Morocco". OmegaUnderground. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  17. ^ HEMMERT, KYLIE (May 8, 2018). "John Wick: Filming Starts with Behind-the-Scenes Photos". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Marc, Christopher (November 4, 2018). "Wonder Woman Actor Said Taghmaoui Confirms He's Joined The Cast of John Wick 3 Currently Shooting In Morocco". OmegaUnderground. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  19. ^ "‘John Wick: Chapter 3’ Cinematographer Dan Laustsen on Shooting Long and Wide Takes in the Sequel," BY STEVE 'FROSTY' WEINTRAUB, MARCH 26, 2019, The Collider. [1]
  20. ^ Atad, Corey (May 10, 2019). "Halle Berry reveals she broke three ribs on John Wick 3". ET Canada. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  21. ^ "JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3 Art of VFX". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  22. ^ "Stars attend the world premiere of 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum'". New York Daily News. May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  23. ^ "John Wick: Chapter Three Release Date Set for 2019". September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  24. ^ Rebecca Rubin (May 14, 2019). "Box Office: 'John Wick 3' Takes Aim at 'Avengers: Endgame'". Variety. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  25. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (May 14, 2019). "Will 'John Wick: Chapter 3' Carry Out a Much-Needed Box Office Hit for Lionsgate?". TheWrap. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  26. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro (May 19, 2019). "Lionsgate Bounces Back As 'John Wick: Chapter 3' Fires Up $57M Series High Opening, 'Endgame' Bests 'Avatar' With $770M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  27. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  28. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  29. ^ Sobczynski, Peter. "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Movie Review (2019) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Chris Nashawaty (May 10, 2019). "All hail Keanu Reeves in the glorious and gratuitous instant action classic John Wick 3: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  31. ^ Wendy Ide (May 18, 2019). "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum review – the art of action". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  32. ^ McNary, Dave. "'John Wick 4' Confirmed With a 2021 Release Date | Variety". Retrieved May 20, 2019.

External links