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There are dozens of highly trained assassins in New York, and a $14 million bounty has been put on John Wick's head. The chaos that ensues provides some of the most entertaining scenes of the past few years.

Keanu Reeves returns as Wick for the third time in "John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum." Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Reddick also return and are joined by Halle Berry, Asia Kate Dillon, Anjelica Huston, Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian for director Chad Stahelski's hard-hitting sequel.

This film is a continuation of the series, so to describe the story, I have to spoil the previous film. Spoiler alert: "Chapter 2" ends with Wick, an assassin for a worldwide assassination organization, breaking the rules. He kills a guy he isn't allowed to kill, causing the massive bounty to be placed on his head. That film ended with Wick sending a warning to the other assassins: "Tell them. Tell them all, whoever comes, whoever it is, I'll kill them. I'll kill them all."

What follows are incredibly inventive fight scenes, as everybody waits their turn to fight the Baba Yaga.

The first fight scene involves an assassin taking on Wick in a library, and we are treated to a scene of Wick beating a man to death with a book. Wick is then chased into an antique store. This is the best scene of the movie and will likely be a contender for best scene of the year.

The men in the store and Wick begin to fight before they both realize that there are hundreds of knives and swords lining the walls of the store. John Wick's knife fight alone is worth the price of admission.

From there, he is chased into a horse stable, and Wick figures out how to make the horses attack the assassins.

Unfortunately, the plot starts here. Wick flees the country to Casablanca where he tries to figure out how to get the hit taken off him. While a few more unique fights follow -- one incorporating vicious dogs, a sword fight on motorcycles -- the fights from here on will be more standard gun and fist fights. That's not to say that Wick getting into a gunfight or a fist fight isn't amazing to watch. This movie never gets boring or lazy. It just gets less inventive from here.

This series is often called the best movies out there for fight scenes. I can't agree with that statement, because "The Raid" films exist. Both of the previous Wick films felt like they were inspired by the "Raid" movies, but they weren't quite their equal. So when Rahman and Ruhian, stars of "The Raid" movies, pop up early in this movie, I got very excited.

The fight between these two men and Wick is amazing. It may not be as crazy/funny as that knife fight at the beginning, but the choreography is fantastic.

Of this series, "Chapter 3" is better than the original film, but I think the second film is a little better than the new one. Regardless, this is one of the best times I have had in a movie theater so far this year, and I can't wait for what else this series has in store in the future.

Entertainment on 05/18/2019

Print Headline: 'John Wick 3' lives up to predecessors

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