Directors: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Run Time: 101 minutes
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, et al…
Plot (taken from IMDb): An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.
John Wick is effortlessly stylish and oozing with cool. This is a bold, colourful and oh so slick action movie. It’s a ballet of bullets and violence. This Keanu Reeves led action flick is so slick that it would shoot out of your hands like soap.
The plot is pretty straightforward stuff. John Wick, an ex-hitman, is grieving over the death of his wife, and receives a puppy from beyond the grave from her. It’s all quite touching and sweet. Then some European gangsters come into his pad, steal his car and murder his dog. Big mistake. We learn very soon that you don’t want to make John Wick angry. Instead of turning green and grotesquely muscly however, Mr. Wick turns into full, incredibly gifted martial artist assassin bad-ass.
He never says much, but I think his actions speak louder than words ever could. John Wick flings himself around several lusciously lit environments, in gloriously choreographed action sequences. He’ll shoot, punch, stab and have all of the above done to him. A good action hero knows how to take a hit. John Wick is a violent film, yes, but it never gets too gruesome. The violence here is stylish, played under a brilliant score which includes the likes of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from Symphony No.9. Think I was joking when I called John Wick a ballet of bullets and violence?
John Wick is up there with the likes of The Raid when it comes to action scenes. It’s unrelenting action entertainment, handled so slickly and stylishly that you’ll barely notice the 101 minute run time. You will, however, notice the below-par acting from those around the quiet, dignified Keanu Reeves. To be fair, the only times you’ll notice any poor acting is when the movie slows down. Dialogue isn’t one of John Wick’s strong points. Neither is storytelling.
You’ll wish that more time was spent exploring Mr. Wick’s past. You are always meeting characters who know who he is, and you’ll be left scratching your head. It’s easy enough to understand that he’s well-known in certain circles, and that he’s been out of the game for a while, but it would’ve been nice to see him at work to begin with. While this would have added length to the film, I feel like a stronger back story would’ve improved the film, and could have helped to add more character depth.
Oh well. John Wick isn’t held back by these flaws when the action is doing all the talking. This is one of the most stylish, entertaining revenge flicks you’ll ever see. Come for the set-pieces, and stay for the set-pieces. Who needs back story and credible character development when you have a man fighting his way through a nightclub?
About as stylish as they come. John Wick is a very enjoyable revenge flick.