I don't know what anything in this series means.
In Parabellum's second act, John Wick escapes to Morocco to seek out a shadowy authority figure who will void the decision of the "High Table" to blacklist him. But then he returns to New York and nothing significant has changed except the suit he's wearing—rival assassins are still trying to murder him at every turn, the "High Table" still sees him as a renegade, and Ian McShane's Winston is still not-so-secretly loyal to him. The shadowy authority figure has ordered Wick to kill Winston as the price of getting his name off the blacklist, but Wick almost immediately decides to disobey that order. So what is the point of the trip to Morocco? Why waste time and energy with setting up plot obstacles only to effortlessly bat them aside minutes later? If John Wick need not care about the baroque laws that govern Assassin Underworld, then why should the viewer?
In a world so emptied of meaning and consequence, the only thing with any weight and solidity is the figure of John Wick himself. Wick may flout the laws of man and physics because he is the ubermensch, the man of "sheer will," as John Wick 2 puts it. (Halle Berry's character in this movie, meanwhile, is not ubermensch-y enough; she finds herself obliged to help Wick because he gave her a "marker," even though the previous movie's entire conflict was predicated on Wick himself justifiably refusing to honor somebody else's marker.) John Wick kills other assassins with impunity and is our hero, while other assassins fail to kill John Wick with impunity and are our villains. We cheer for Wick's headshots because he's just so much better at it than everyone else. Apparently, Ayn Rand's biggest mistake with Atlas Shrugged wasn't all the objectivism; it was her failure to include a cute dog and some fight scenes with motorcycle ninjas.
Don't get me wrong, the fight scenes are spectacular: well choreographed, sleekly shot, and smoothly edited. But monotony encroaches after a while. Keanu Reeves can erase only so many waves of faceless mooks before the viewer's higher brain functions begin to search for something with which to occupy themselves. There's precious little to find—just minute upon minute of blood squibs bursting and stuntmen earning their paychecks. What is going through Wick's mind as he mows down his adversaries? Nothing, possibly. Or perhaps it's similar to what the viewer is thinking: God, how many more disposable henchmen could there possibly be in the world?
A lot, as it turns out. They are necessary for director Chad Stahelski to achieve his goal, which is spelled out after a protracted battle toward the film's end. John Wick kneels beside his just-vanquished opponent as they catch their breath. The opponent, who has been impaled by a sword and will soon expire, says, "That was a pretty good fight, huh?" It's a ridiculous, insane line, intelligible only when interpreted as metafiction. One admires Stahelski's gumption in essentially abandoning the facade of drama and asking so nakedly for the audience's approval. And sure, let's give it to him: it was a good fight. A good fight, and nothing more.