The first trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 is here (I refuse to acknowledge the subtitle “Parabellum” because it remains incredibly stupid). As much as I need my entertainment to be gentle and soft right now, I do consider John Wick to be part of my self-care routine. These movies are just awesome, among the very best action done in American cinema this decade. Honestly, watching John Wick is like watching a ballet, a punchy-kicky ballet. It makes me happy to watch anything as well executed as a John Wick movie. And Chapter 3 looks like a chip off the ol’ block, with John Wick punching and kicking and shooting his way out of New York City. Did you see the part where he throws his gun at the dude? Or stuffs that other dude with a book? Like actually STUFFS HIM WITH A BOOK?!
It appears that Chapter 3 picks up right where Chapter 2 left off—John Wick has a bounty on his head for killing a special assassin guy, and now everybody is out to kill him. The trailer includes the return of Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne, and also shows off new characters played by Asia Kate Dillon (“The Adjudicator”), Angelica Huston (“The Director”), Mark Dacascos (“Zero”), and Halle Berry in action as Sofia. Not pictured: Jason Mantzoukas as “Tick Tock Man”. I hope they’re holding onto this reveal because “Tick Tock Man” is really just Adrian Pimento undercover.
No telling, really, what The Adjudicator and The Director are up to—BESIDES LOOKING FABULOUS—but Sofia is clearly an assassin peer of John’s. As noted in the first look photos, the assassins are extremely committed to their aesthetic, so much so that Sofia’s dogs are also assassins. I don’t know how I feel about this. Training dogs to hurt people is not good and counter to a dog’s mission on earth, which is to receive as many pats as possible and be Very Good and make everyone happy just by existing. On the other hand, it looks f-cking cool in the trailer. (This same dilemma applies to the gun violence.)
This being a John Wick movie, EVERYTHING looks cool in the trailer. Anjelica Huston has, like, two lines and she’s already my new favorite character. Asia Kate Dillon and Mark Dacascos don’t even say anything and they both look f-cking badass. I am VERY into the possibility of Chapter 3 being a brawl between Keanu Reeves and Mark Dacascos, both great stunt performers. Also just generally into Mark Dacascos getting a role like this because he has been toiling in bad action movies and B-grade television for basically his whole career, but OF COURSE the John Wick team would know to cast him as an assassin. Bounty hunter? Whatever it is, of course the movies made by former stuntmen know exactly who to cast for action.
I’ve been a little nervous for Chapter 3 because it opens three weeks after Avengers: Endgame. That movie is going to suck up all of the money in the world, and three weeks might not be enough lead time for it to clear out most of its business and let other movies start to breathe in its wake. But it occurs to me that Chapter 3 could be the perfect post-Endgame palate cleanser. It’s so stylized it borders on ludicrous, and I think we’re past having to worry about the dogs—they can’t put us through that again, they just can’t—which makes John Wick kind of perfect action-fantasy viewing. Endgame is going to create a helluva pop culture hangover, and John Wick: Chapter 3 looks like the perfect antidote.