Mark Dacascos has been a working actor going all the way back to the early 1990s, and much of it has been in action films that utilize his martial arts training, ranging from “Cradle 2 the Grave” to “Double Dragon” to even headlining “Only the Strong.” Ending up on a show like “Iron Chef America” isn’t anything he ever envisioned for his career, as he told The Ringer last year, but the life of a working actor never goes the way they planned. Had he not gotten that part, he probably would have just continued appearing in mid and lower tier action films at a great frequency. He’s still done this over the years, but he may have been a Scott Adkins-type hero (who happens to be in “John Wick: Chapter 4”) instead of that guy from the cooking show.

But it’s that career swerve that makes Mark Dacascos so disarming and exciting in “Parabellum.” He becomes a character you aren’t sure what to make of the entire time he is on screen. Some will overestimate his abilities, and some will underestimate them. Some will recognize him from playing The Chairman and be shocked to realize that they should really be taking this character seriously. Pitting a wild card like that against a movie star like Keanu Reeves makes their fight scenes unpredictable and elevates the tension, especially when you realize he is the final fight. And that final fight has to come right after John Wick threw down with Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian, best known for “The Raid” films. You needed a guy like Mark Dacascos who had the gravitas and the skill to make Zero one of the series’ best adversaries, and he absolutely nailed it.