A combination of every deadly killer with a conscience to come before him, Keanu Reeves is John Wick, 100% badass.
He left the game for love, but when his wife succumbs to terminal disease, retired ultimate hit-man, John Wick, doesn’t have much left in life to love. When a punk mobster kid steals his car and kills his dog, that short list gets even shorter. In fact, the only thing left on it may be killing people who deserve it. That’s not good for anyone standing in his way.
Also featuring Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Defoe, Adrianne Palicki, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, and Kevin Nash, John Wick is an action packed entry into the revenge genre.
John Wick isn’t the type of film to bore you with needless back story or a drawn out setup. In a montage where Keanu Reeves attempts to show emotion, we find out he is devastated by the recent loss of his wife. As if attending her funeral wasn’t bad enough, the very next day he’s beaten and robbed by some nobodies who think they’re somebodies. Too bad for them, they’re about to become dead nobodies because John Wick is worse than the boogeyman – he’s the guy you send to kill the boogeyman.
Not skimping on the violence, the body count soon becomes too hard to keep track of as Wick dispatches hordes of henchmen. I’ve never seen so many people get shot in the face before. The action is stylized but never really defies logic or physics – at least no more than any any Hollywood shoot ’em up. The only part that seems unlikely is that a man like that would have been caught unawares enough to let himself be beaten by a small group of home invaders in the first place. But hey, something needed to light the fuse.
The plot, as it is, moves forward at a blistering pace. So fast, in fact, that it ends before the movie does. Seemingly accomplishing his goal of revenge, Wick inexplicably finds more obstacles thrown at him despite the fact. The whole third act feels a bit tacked on, though it features some thrilling action sequences including a vehicle battle even better than the one in this year’s The Raid 2.
The story is, in fact, rather small and contained. It takes place, however, in a world that’s hinted to be much larger than we get to see. Weaving in and out of secret societies of the criminal underworld where everyone knows his name, there are rules, rhyme, and reason to this universe. The film is both an epilogue of a much larger previous life, and prologue to what may yet be to come.
John Wick is fast and loud, cramming destruction in every nook. Playing it straight, the story and characters also have a twisted sense of humor. A better Jason Statham movie than many Jason Statham movies, this is a solid B flick that’s a lot of fun, despite a few flaws.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Three out of five hats
John Wick takes his revenge in 2,589 theaters, including IMAX, on October 24