John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum begins with John Wick excommunicado and on the run from just about every assassin who wants the $14 million bounty on his head, but who did he kill to end up in this situation? One of the most acclaimed aspects of the John Wick franchise is the intricate world-building, as the creative team crafted an entire underground society that audiences love revisiting. One of the signature elements of this universe is the Continental hotel, which has locations all around the globe and acts as a safe haven for members.
The most important ground rule of the Continental is that no business is to be conducted on its grounds. This means that killing people is strictly forbidden, and anyone who violates the rules will face severe consequences. As one of the most respected figures in this crazy world, John was very much a law-abiding citizen during his stays at the Continental (he didn't murder Perkins in the first film). However, things drastically changed at the end of Chapter 2, with John blatantly committing a crime at the Continental, stunning Winston.
For those who don't remember (Chapter 3 doesn't dedicate time to get viewers up to speed), John shot and killed Santino D'Antonio in cold blood in the Continental. This action led to Winston making John excommunicado, taking away hotel privileges from the Baba Yaga, and placing a $14 million bounty on Wick. As a courtesy, Winston gave his old friend a one-hour head start, which is close to its expiration when Chapter 3 begins.
As for why John did this, it was personal. Early on in Chapter 2, Santino pays John a visit to collect his marker, a blood oath John made to Santino. Wick was tasked with killing Santino's sister Gianna, so that Santino could have her seat at the high table. Once the job was complete, Santino essentially betrayed John by sending an army after him in a manufactured attempt to avenge Gianna's death. The only way for John to end the madness was to get to Santino, who smartly went to the Continental. Moments before being executed, Santino was taunting the Baba Yaga about how long he could stay at the hotel, citing its extravagant menu selection. John made Santino's visit a quick one by ending D'Antonio's life.
Even though Winston has great admiration for John, he had no choice but to make Mr. Wick excommunicado after this turn of events. So, when Chapter 3 starts up, John is on the run, looking for any safe passage he can find. In all likelihood, John knew what would happen the second he pulled the trigger on Santino, but the point is he didn't care. Ever since the original movie, he's yearned for a normal life. As Chapter 3's tagline suggests, in order to find that peace he so desperately wants, John is going to need to prepare for war against the High Table.
- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) release date: May 17, 2019