“Baba Yaga” is back. He’s a bit beaten up, but at Keanu Reeves proves that even in his mid-50s, he can kick ass. The film picks up exactly where it left off. Wick has been ex-communicated for executing Santino D'Antonio on Continental grounds. Oh, sorry, we need to rewind a bit.
Santino was the man who called in his blood marker in Chapter Two, a marker that must be honored. Wick refused; Santino wanted him to kill his sister. Even though this marker allowed him to initially leave the world of contract killing, Wick didn’t want to do it, so Santino blew his home with a M72 LAW anti-tank weapon, causing Wick to once again lock n’ load. Santino’s sister kills herself; Wick doesn’t have that weighing on his conscience, and then goes out to kill Santino. Long story short, Wick catches up with Santino at the Continental, where the latter said he was probably going to stay there indefinitely. No business can be conducted on the grounds, so it would’ve denied Wick putting a bullet in Santino’s head, which he does anyway. This leads to his banishment from this sordid world of assassins. Winston, played by Ian McShane, Wick’s colleague gives him some time before he has to officially turn his back on him. This is where Parabellum picks up.
Wick obviously wants to get the bounty off his head, travels the world to see Halle Berry, who is not to be messed with, in order to meet a member of the so-called High Table, which governs this world of killers, in order to void his contract. He gets an offer: kill Winston and all will be declared null and void. Back in the states, Winston is facing accountability for the death of Santino at his hotel, when an adjudicator, played by Billions’ Asia Kate Dillon, tells him he’s being forced into retirement for this egregious breach in protocol, hires a sleek band of Asian assassins to dole out punishment to whomever helped Wick from the previous film, and ends with an insane gun battle as Wick comes home to settle his debts.
If there is one thing that sticks out in this franchise, it’s the proper handling of firearms. We’ve all seen the training videos Reeves and Barry took to make them look like skilled marksmen. Second Amendment supporters and avid shooters who often note how Hollywood does a poor job in demonstrating proper firearms use should find these films refreshing. Second, the third act features some fast-paced and elaborately coordinated hand-to-hand sequences as well. It’s a balance of knife play, martial arts, and gunfights. It’s a high-octane ride. If you liked the first film and its sequel, this was definitely worth the price of admission. And yes, it ends with the possibility of a fourth film. No, these aren’t Oscar contenders, but they’re fun films. And the thrill hasn’t let up an inch with this third installment.