What started as a scaled-up version of the straight-to-video action trash that keeps Bruce Willis employed, John Wick has become one of the most reliable, entertaining franchises around. Keanu Reeves has been simply outstanding as the deadly assassin, motivated first out of revenge for his murdered pup, then out of survival for breaking the rules of the secret society he used to belong to. The filmmaking from former stuntman Chad Stahelski has also been extraordinary, making even the most outlandish fight scenes feel real. It also helps that as unstoppable as John Wick is, he often looks vulnerable, limping onto the next bad guy, or nursing broken ribs.
I won't name names, but there have been trailers for big blockbusters this year that have done nothing to raise my excitement level. They weren't bad, but nothing shot up my expectations from their base level. But John Wick: Chapter 3's trailer doesn't do that. It wows you, then keeps ratcheting up the "oh shit" moments until you're wishing this movie was coming out right this second. There's Anjelica Huston! And Halle Berry! And attack dogs! And, wait, are those ninjas on motorcycles? Yes, they are! Did John Wick just kill a guy while riding a horse through New York City? He sure did. And they didn't even show comedian Jason Mantzoukas as the Tick Tock Man. It's safe to say I'm pumped for the latest chapter.
Keanu Reeves reloads with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum on Friday, May 17.