This is what usually happens: a film creates a compelling fantasy world and fans clamor for more. So sequels build that world out, they show more of its mechanics, its people, its history. But ‘John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum’ demonstrates one little acknowledged principle of escalated world building: the inevitable outcome is bureaucracy.
If nothing else, this latest chapter in the surprisingly successful Keanu Reeves franchise makes it clear how fan service can undermine everything that made that franchise interesting in the first place. “Parabellum” spends a distressing amount of time literally explicating the bureaucracy of the Wick-verse—pointlessly. The outcome is tedium so pervasive, even the fighting—the fighting is why you watch a John Wick movie in the first place!—left me bored. Read my whole review here.