John Wick

  • Directed by Chad Stahelski (Feature Directorial Debut)
  • September 19, 2014 (Fantastic Fest) / October 24, 2014 (US)

A widowed hitman hunts down the people who broke into his home, stole his car, and killed the dog that was the final gift from his wife.

It had been a long time since an in charge and kick ass action hero had graced the screen when John Wick arrived. Or felt like it anyway. For me the character of John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a bit of a throwback to the 80s hero that is better than the best and essentially an army of one. It was a breath of fresh air and tapped into a desire that people have not only for this type of film but of the fantasy where one person can take on all those who come at them.

The individual that wrote this was also behind the fantastic Nobody. Both films are extreme rarities in today’s cinema. Both feature a character that proceeds with certainty and is unstoppable. Wick pushes through his pain and goes after his goal with a singular purpose. But this is not about an ass kicker played to perfection by Keanu Reeves where you watch him mercilessly bloody the next victim. It’s also about an individual who is in mourning and how one entitled brat sends them on over the edge and unleashes the monster that he put away because of love.

If this were just a guy opening a can of whoop ass John Wick would’ve been quickly forgotten. Maybe a nice distraction for the action fan but ultimately it would have lacked the cultural impact this movie has. John Wick is a human being going through very human things and the world is not letting have his time to grieve.

The world in which this happens is a rich reality with rules the viewer can follow and understand. Things may be complicated but it all is explained in a way that makes sense. And it is a hidden world that is also all around.

Adding to the realism of this film is when John Wick fights people he fights people that look like he is nearly a physical match for. There’s no moment where he takes on someone that is way bigger than him as a joke or to show just how tough he is. Wick even suffers injuries that need tended.

John Wick is also dripping from start to finish with cool. Cool clothes. A cool car which largely starts things. Cool action. Cool characters. It just has so much cool that keeps giving it a style all its own. Another reason this is above stands above so many other action films.

But the reason this movie largely succeeds is Keanu Reeves. He makes John Wick cold and ruthless and a force to be reckoned with. He comes on screen and you know he is a scary guy when he gets upset even though he’s not doing anything. It’s in his words and his actions. Reeves knows how to project intimidation. With anybody else it would not have worked.

This is a rare film with no dead spots. It’s always building and always moving. Something is always happening no matter what. One element builds on the next. It wastes none of its time. More films could learn from that. There is only just enough in the movie to get you to understand John Wick and the world he is in, but not so much that you’re drowning in unnecessary details.

John Wick as a character gets minimal background. We know he’s a killer and the best. We know he left his old life behind because of a woman. But they don’t flesh his wife out too much since all we need to know is her love changed him. We get the story about how he killed people with a pencil. And added into that is that he completed an impossible task for Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist) who is the father of Iosef (Alfie Allen)-the man that stole John’s car and killed his dog. This is contains the barest amount of fluff. A dusting if you will.

John Wick is an amazing bit of modern action. It’s a very streamlined movie with great action and a great story. Movies like this are too few and far between. For fans of action this is a must see!

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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