Qt3 Movie Podcast: John Wick 3: Parabellum

Guns. Lots of guns.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2019/05/27/qt3-movie-podcast-john-wick-3-parabellum/

Really liked this one, and the fight scenes with the dogs were awesome.

What was that term or name that was pronounced something like “granginole” or “granginyole?” I didn’t find anything on google although ‘granginole film’ is a delightful googlewhack that only returns a French forum discussing Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend.

“Grand Guignol”, a term derived from a theater in Paris known for producing exceptionally gory, amoral horror plays in the early 20th century.

I could watch the extended Casablanca shootout with the dogs and Reeves/Berry over and over again. Just so exceptionally smoothly directed as an action setpiece.

Thank you! I read on Wikipedia that these plays would intersperse comedy and gore; interesting in light of the observation that the John Wick movies incorporate different genres and Chapter 3’s may be comedy.

I wouldn’t personally associate it with John Wick. Seems to me the term is better suited to stuff like the Herschel Gordon Lewis films and maybe those trashy Italian cannibal movies. There really isn’t much of a cinematic equivalent these days. Actually, I think the modern version of excessively fetishized gore would be videogames.


I’m glad you addressed this. It first occurred to me I think in the knife shop scene when John Wick threw the hatchet across the room into the guy’s skull. And then when I thought about the ballet dancer who would fall down during the Pas de Deux rehearsal, when The Director (Angelica Huston) would drop her with words, like a puppet master would drop a marionette. It called to mind Being John Malkovich for me in a weird way. Of course the reference there is Topo Gigio, but I find that movie so hilariously horrific.


I definitely felt like JW3 inched closer to GG territory than the previous two installments; in addition to the scenes Christien mentioned, it felt like it kind of overdosed on the “slowly pushing something pointy into someone” sequence a few too many times, and the toenail scene at the ballet…::shiver::.

I also think it’s a pretty remarkable job of worldbuilding they’ve done with this franchise driven entirely by gun-fu and a near wordless main character. Always nice to see Lance Reddick on screen, too.

This is Grand Guignol:

John Wick is just R-rated violence.

To get a sense for the difference, here are more images here from the actual theater (click the picture at the top of the article). They’re actually kind of quaint by today’s standards. But imagine how this looked to people in the 1940s! There are modern equivalents, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone look for them. I regret the time my curiosity got the better of me.

But, yeah, the knife into the eyeball in John Wick 3 was a different tone, and I’m not sure what it added. Sadism is a fundamental part of Grand Guignol, and I don’t really associate John Wick’s efficient gun kills with sadism. But that eyeball stab? Yeesh.

How jealous is Equilibrium? I can imagine Kurt Wimmer stomping on his hat every time a new John Wick movie comes out. My guess is that John Wick’s secret ingredient is Keanu Reeves’ easygoing appeal. Imagine if, say, Anselm Elgort played John Wick. How badly would that have tanked? Yeesh, I just made myself nauseous.


Bellucci is not in 2, and the Italian crime chief takes her own life in the bath to ‘die on her own terms.’

Sorry, yeah. I always get tripped up 'cause Gerini is Italian for Bellucci.

Me laughing gleefully.

I see ocular penetration in movies as a lovely example of filmmaking craft. There’s a 3 Stooges short where they’re telephone repairmen (or something), and Curly’s standing on Moe’s head with these sharp spikes on his shoes trying to clumsily climb this telephone pole to go do something idiotic, and the spike not only goes into the top of Moe’s head (also like in Parabellum) but into his eye – for at least a full second Moe’s eye socket’s just a gaping black pit.

To this day I have no idea how they shot it. In the '40s.

@tomchick is the Maggie Haberman of the movie podcast.

I loved the ending of the movie, and it’s 100% a betrayal. And they would’ve probably gotten away with it too, if the high table hadn’t overreached and gone after Laurence Fishburne for the crime of…giving a gun to a member in good standing.

The way Winston turns on John, the way the high table disproportionately targets the bowery, and seem to have incited a revolution in their effort to protect themselves feel like pretty neat illustrations of power dynamics to me, and I’m down for seeing John Wick 4: Master of the Flying Guillotine.

Agreed 100%. Didn’t see that coming and it was wonderfully brutal.

Listening right now. I have gotten to the discussion of the betrayal ending. I thought it was telegraphed that this was a setup. John and Winston planned this in the vault after The Adjudicator suggested a meeting. The only bit of doubt I had about this was the brutal fall, as Tom pointed out. But, hey: movies.

I like the part where Tom thinks Halle Berry is good at her stunts because she’s younger than Lance Reddick. I mean, she is, but she’s 52 and he’s 54.

You show me Lance Reddick doing this movie:

That movie is, like, 99% footage of Halle Berry running. She’s chasing folks who kidnap her kid. I’m talking Tom Cruise running. Serious cardio. Halle Berry is an action star. She’s Storm and Catwoman and a Bond girl. She fights a Great White Shark!

But Lance Reddick? He was on The Wire. Talky TV actor. Pfft.

Whoa. They both look pretty amazing for their ages.


Yes. But can she bust her ass on a chair?


No, no, no, I’m in favor of the rule of law! Team Iron Man and Team High Table is all about following the rules. Otherwise, gadflies like Captan America and John Wick will just tear down the fabric of society and you people cheer them on because they wear cool suits, have awesome hair, and get the best fight choreography!