Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Optimists looking for the good side of everything can find educational value in the hyper violent and hugely paranoiac third John Wick movie. It features two educational benefits dealing with vocabulary and mathematics. On the word front, the movie's full title of John Wick, Chapter Three: Parabellum eventually leads to revealing its Latin meaning: "If you want peace, prepare for war." How many John Wick fans knew that parabellum definition before this third movie? In the realm of mathematics, fans hone their numerical skills with the daunting task of keeping a body count — an act that challenges the brain since it involves way more than ten fingers and ten toes.
Of course, fans can cheat by subscribing to the website called quote John Wick Kill Count, but many do the numbers themselves. Extensive counting proves difficult for me, so I cheated and went on-line to find the total tally of one hundred sixty-seven. Even John Wick can't improve my math skills. But he does a good job of whetting my appetite for travel. Wick director Chad Stahelski mines Manhattan for crisply bright, color-infused nighttime glows. His daytime shots include the city's iconic Flatiron Building stepping in to portray the Hotel Continental, a safe zone for the story's universe where professional assassins flood the world and lurk in every corner.
A budget engorged by two previous hit movies allows the third to film in a Morocco city, calling it Casablanca but capturing cultural ambiance in the coastal town of Essauira (es-a-wira). Dunes at Erfoud (ur-fud) add impressive textural contrast to Manhattan. But then, most John Wick fans watch the movies for reasons other than geographical lessons or making additions to travel bucket lists. Fans want to see top-flight, hand-to-hand combat mixing marshal arts skills with impressive and inventive weaponry. Wick delivers.
That body count also gets broken down into methodology. Guns kills 124 people. Blades from swords or knives catch another 32. And then comes the ubiquitous category called "other." This tops out at 11 and features creativity — a book at the New York Public Library in one case, and the hooves of city police horses a couple of other times. Dogs add to the mix, too. Sadly, no bunny rabbits show up, but perhaps the filmmakers can fix that when John Wick returns in Chapter Four.
This review was originally aired on 5/20/2019.
You can listen to it online at https://www.kunr.org/post/new-john-wick-movie#stream/0