'John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum' Reviews Are In and Critics Say It's the Best Movie Yet

"It is superb, wall-to-wall action entertainment."
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John Wick and friend

John Wick and friend

We have a few days before John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum is in theaters everywhere but critics have had their previews and guess what: It may be the best Wick movie yet.

It's not like anyone needs help getting stoked for an installment in this franchise—Wick has a pretty potent fandom. One that may find itself more primed than ever to plumb the depths of John's (Keanu Reeves) murderous fictional universe.

So far, Parabellum has a 98% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Out of 40 reviews published as of May 12, 39 were positive. Check out some selected quotes:

  • "With a seamless mix of CGI and stunt work, [Director Chad] Stahelski fluidly choreographs ballets of bullets and endless violent encounters across a grim cityscape." — The Associated Press.
  • "It's a hard-R live action cartoon, and it is superb, wall-to-wall action entertainment." — The Chicago Sun-Times.
  • "It's almost a karmic answer to everything else in the action-movie genre, where there's usually a distinct lack of responsibility in the wanton violence: In the "Wick"-verse, a bloody action usually leads to much more trouble later." — USA Today.
  • "Whatever it lacks in narrative intelligence it makes up abundantly in visual moxie, and in a medium that is first and foremost visual, that's what makes something great." — Vox.
  • "John Wick 3 is a bone-cracking, horse-kicking, dog-biting, book-smashing, ax-throwing action masterpiece." — Slashfilm.

The reviews are so uniformly positive it gets monotonous to quote more than a few.

Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry

Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry

One of the most interesting elements of the Wick movies is the fact they don't take themselves all that seriously. That extends to fun behind-the-scenes stories, like this one Chad Stahelski told Entertainment Weekly. Apparently certain cats at a Morocco filming location took issue with the franchise's love of dogs:

“The Moroccans are not big on canines,” says Stahelski.

Love a f—ing cat, though. There had to be thousands. We went there in the winter when we scouted and they weren’t that prevalent. We were like, There’s a few cats here, we’ll get a cat department, and we’re going to move all the cats out. We show up to shoot and there were literally a thousand cats, okay? And the cats have b—s of steel. They’re not afraid of anything. We had to build massive walls of cages. They’re just stray cats, but we want to be good handlers. So, we built little cat houses, put them in, had to feed them. We had walls of cats. Walls of fucking cats. The amount of f—ing cat food — we were probably feeding more cats than people on set.”

Halle Berry added in the same interview that "It was totally chaotic and then we had these cats running through our set. It was often hard to keep the dogs focused, because they’d see a cat and off they’d go, and sometimes that could ruin a whole great take."

So this apparently fantastic new action flick featuring an assassin who loves dogs was nearly derailed for a while by cats. A cat would say that makes total sense, because they are noted jerks.

Anyway, get ready: John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum gallops into theaters May 17.