Tuesday is bargain movie day ($5 at Cobb Theaters, which admittedly is more than most new releases are actually worth), so I suggested to Pam we take a break from streaming and find something to see on the big screen.
How about John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum?
Always a good sport, and with a decided lack of interesting "chick flicks" to choose from, she agreed.
On the way, I filled her in on Chapters 1 and 2, and said to expect more than the normal degree of violence that comes with these action movies. I can remember when critics were appalled by the graphic violence in the "The Wild Bunch" -- a Western from 1969. Films that followed raised the violence ante, like "Clockwork Orange," "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill," almost to the point that it's hard to shock audiences anymore.
Yes, the body counts in these Wick movies greatly exceed their running times. But instead of shocking, the viewer feels more like a player in a video game, shooting and slicing and committing all sorts of mayhem on an endless horde of combatants.
Full disclosure, I enjoyed the previous Wick films. Keanu Reeves is masterful as the anti-hero who just wants to be left alone with his dog, a luxury apparently denied former assassins who find retirement doesn't go with the territory.
But the real star is the insane fight scene choreography. It's like watching Gene Kelly with guns and knives.
And a special shoutout to Halle Berry's attack dogs. They deserve an animal Oscar for their performance. It's been reported the actress spent a lot of time training and bonding with the Belgian Malinois used in the movie. It shows.
"Wick 3" has an almost a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Internet movie yardstick for deciding if a movie or show is worth your time. Not sure I would go that high. And pretty sure neither would Pam (listen to her podcast about it). It certainly over delivers on the action front, but the story is showing signs of tiredness (not that most Wick lovers go for the story). And while we know Wick himself is virtually indestructible, there are some definite "ah, come on now" moments in this latest chapter.
Even so, "Wick 4" is already planned for release in 2021. Maybe the writers will see fit to give him that little cottage by the sea where he and his dog can finally find some peace and quiet. I wouldn't count on it.
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."