John Wick 3: redefining action movies

The following article will contain spoilers and my thoughts on certain scenes within the movie. If you have not seen it yet, what the hell are you waiting for? That includes you Tai.
The opening scene starts out where Wick 2 left off, John has less than an hour to prepare for a 14-million-dollar contract to be opened on him and every assassin in the world wanting a piece of the reward. A checkered cab picks him up from the street like the one from Taxi Driver, the DeNiro movie with an odd ball character who knows John. Wick’s dog is taken to the Continental to stay as a guest and Wick is dropped off at the library to pick up an emergency stash. A book about Russian folktales contains the items he will need to push him through the rest of the film. Wick comes face to face with a man who thinks he can honor the contract early only to pay the price for jumping ahead in line. To say that the man was tall is an understatement. More like a white Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the man is slow and tries to use his reach to kill Wick but that turns into a huge disadvantage. It is clear that John knows how to do more with a book than read.
We learn a bit about john when he goes to visit the Russian side of the mob. The guards demand all of his weapons including his belt, this ends up playing a role later. It becomes clear that John was an orphan raised to be an asset to the mob, the women trained in ballet and the boys are practicing Judo and Sambo. Wick cashes in a ticket and is branded for life to never return to his home.
In Casablanca Wick meets up with someone who it isn’t clear what her ties to him in the past is. Not likely a former lover, Berry aids Wick in meeting with her boss, the man who creates the gold coins that is used for currency. Berry has two trained German shepherds and these dogs are weapons no different from the guns and blades they carry. Berry turns on her own boss after he shoots her dogs, something that doesn’t turn out well for anyone who harms a canine. The boss isn’t killed but she leaves him with something to remember after the dog already mangled his family jewels.
There is a spiritual aspect to Wick’s journey. He goes out into the desert to seek the man who started it all in order to make amends. After being found half dead Wick awakes in a tent and sees the man he was looking for. In order to save his life, he has to pledge his loyalty to the Elder and only work for him the rest of his life. To seal the deal Wick cuts off his ring finger and offers it, plus his wedding ring, to the Elder. While this is a Japanese tradition it is for some reason used in the desert with an Arab figure. The first contract Wick has to fulfill is Winston, the man who runs the Continental in New York.
While Wick is trying to save his own life, other people are finding their positions threatened by the High Table, the group who runs the assassin operation world-wide. Winston is having the Continental taken from him and the head of the Burrows, the underground group run by Lawrence Fishburne, is losing their king for handing a gun to Wick in the second film. Clearly mistakes are made and before taking care of the Wick problem the High Table decide that everyone is to be held accountable at the same time, creating alliances they should have expected.
Don “the dragon” Wilson plays a character named Zero who’s hero it turns out is Wick. Why you would send an assassin to kill his hero is beyond me. Zero’s men and himself have several opportunities to kill Wick throughout the film and don’t treating the job like a game. Two of Zeros men are played by Malaysian martial artist best known for the Raid movies and in one scene with motorcycles they try to kill Wick using Katanas like a scene out of Kill Bill. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that Wick 3 is unoriginal because they do have their own take to the scenes that still leave you breathless in the end.
Keanu gives a nod to the Matrix movies when the Continental is under siege and it is up to him and the staff to fight off an army sent to kill them all. “I need guns, lots of guns.” Wick arms himself in the old way and finds that he is not prepared for men with full body armor. Wick and the Host go back to the armory and pick out shotguns with armor piercing rounds to do the job.
The mirrored room comes back for Game of Death but with a three-dimensional, three story, room of glass. The tricks are different here, the men acting more like ninjas and they play games with Wick not killing him when they have several opportunities. After a long fight Zero is finally killed and looks to Wick for acceptance at a good killer. “That was a good fight wasn’t it?”
In the end Wick learns who his true friends are when Winston appears to kill Wick on the roof in order to get control of the Continental back. One can be led to believe that this was preplanned. Wick’s body disappears and he is saved by Fishburne for what is a clear motive of revenge.
There are several Easter Eggs hidden in the film making it something to watch several times over in search of all of them. The belt comes into play when Wick removes it from his pants to fight two men at the same time like Jet Li in Fist of Legend. While I could go on, I hope that you will take the time to find them for yourself.
John Wick 3 might be one of the best action movies so far made during this century and with so many failing to do more than blow stuff up and have crappy dialogue it was a breath of fresh air. I would like to point out that in the past couple of years this was the only one I went to watch in the theaters with everything else being brought home on DVD and mostly likely falling asleep to. I hope Wick turns into Keanu’s Zatoichi.

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