The Jakarta Post
A still from 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' (Lionsgate/File)
Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the legendary hitman in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Directed by Chad Stahelski, the third John Wick movie uses a similar formula to its predecessors in the franchise, but this time with a dash of Indonesian culture.
Spoiler alert to those who have yet to watch the first two movies, John Wick follows a retired assassin who returns to the battleground after a thug named Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) steals his car and kills his puppy. John takes the incident personally, as the puppy was a present from his late wife Helen.
John Wick: Chapter 2 leads the audience deeper into the underworld as Italian crime lord Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), a member of High Table, a council of high-level crime lords, asks John to kill his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini). Long story short, John ends up killing Santino in The Continental Hotel in New York, breaking the underworld's rule of no blood on Continental grounds.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum picks right up from there. John is seen running around New York City accompanied by his new dog, trying to find sanctuary. There is only an hour left until the announcement of John's Excommunicado status, which terminates his access and privileges to the underworld resources. Other criminals cannot wait to kill him, as there's a US$14 million bounty on his head.
The American neo-noir thriller is packed with action, complementing the flimsy plot. The action runs fast, but the well-choreographed fighting scenes keep the film gruesome and entertaining at the same time.
The movie also features Anjelica Huston and Halle Berry. Huston plays a character known as The Director. It's oddly pleasing to watch Huston's part, which showcases a combination of cruelness and ballet.
Meanwhile, Berry portrays Sofia, John's ally. With two dogs beside her, she loads the guns and fires the enemies. Unfortunately, these interesting characters go unexplored, making the plot feeling rushed.
Actors Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman answer questions at a press conference for the movie 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' at the Plaza Indonesia mall in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)
Among all the top-class Hollywood actors, the appearance of local actors Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman is like a breath of fresh air in the film. During a press screening on Tuesday, the local journalists could not contain their excitement upon seeing Yayan on screen.
Showing local martial arts, the duo tries to defeat Reeves, who is way taller than them. Their conversation in Indonesian adds to the excitement.
Yayan and Cecep said at a press conference that the director had not initially planned to include Indonesian, but had changed his mind upon seeing the two martial arts experts talk in their native language during a break.
With regard to Reeves' line, Cecep said the Hollywood actor was the one who asked them to translate his dialogue to Indonesian. "We told him and he memorized it," said Cecep.
Yayan expressed his happiness over his involvement in the movie. "Our involvement in a few Hollywood movies shows that Indonesians have [abilities similar to those of foreign actors]," said Yayan, adding that they had not been required to go through a casting process for the movies.
All in all, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum delivers the expected excellent fighting scenes. It's a must-watch movie for those who love action or want to support local actors. (kes)