Before John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum explodes onto our screens on 15 May, let’s look back at the story so far...
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 1 (2014)
It all started with a puppy. No, seriously. Rewind to 2014, and when retired hitman John Wick is targeted by unwitting Russian mobsters – who steal his Ford Mustang and kill the pet beagle that threw him a lifeline after his wife’s death – they open a big can of whoop-ass.
This opening salvo follows the bone-snapping clash between Wick and the crime clan of chilling kingpin Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), with the carnage spilling between chop- shops, nightclubs and the gangster-populated Continental Hotel that becomes an iconic backdrop throughout the franchise. The John Wick phenomenon was born here – and with his über-intense performance, Reeves put a little distance between himself and the ‘dude’ vibes of his early career.
True Fact! Reeves spent four months learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the role
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (2017)
Barely pausing for breath after the blood-lashed events of the first movie, Chapter 2 plunges us back into the New York underworld, as notorious Camorra don Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) orders Wick to carry out a brutal assassination as payback for an old favour. Well, a hitman’s gotta do what a hitman’s gotta do, and Wick duly carries out the kill – only for Santino to frame him for murder and slap down a million reward for his killing.
Worse, when Wick breaks the underworld’s golden rule – never spill blood inside the walls of The Continental Hotel – the bounty is doubled and offered to every assassin on the planet.
True Fact! The fight choreography was inspired by Chad Stahelski's love of musicals like Singin' In The Rain.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM (2019)
So here’s a pickle: after his faux pas in The Continental Hotel, Wick has been frozen out by the crime world’s High Table, has a million price on his head, and a swarm of international assassins on his tail, including sort-of comrade Sofia (Halle Berry) and the terrifying Zero (Mark Dacascos).
Stahelski has described this third instalment as “our f**k you to everyone else” in the action genre, and with set pieces involving attack dogs, knife fights and horseback battles, he’s put his movie where his mouth is. “You have no idea what’s coming,” warns Vincent (Ian McShane), the Continental’s wise owner and Wick’s long-standing ally. And the same is true when you take your seats on 15 May.
True Fact! Look out for Reeves' cheeky nod to The Matrix ("Guns. Lots of guns...").