John Wick – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review

John Wick4.5 Stars

For an action movie, John Wick did just about everything right.

  • It kept the story very simple.  John Wick is out to get revenge on the guys who stole his car (a beautiful 1969 Ford Mustang), and killed the puppy that his wife had arranged to have delivered to him after her death (probably cancer) so he wouldn’t be alone.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
  • It delivered constant action.  There were very few scenes where someone wasn’t being beaten up or killed.  The few moments of exposition had some light humour (such as the police officer coming to John’s house for a noise complaint) or built up the legend of John Wick.
  • The action seemed believable.  The film has developed a new style of action that they’ve coined “gun-fu”.
  • The film was directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, who are former stuntmen and fight choreographers, and did a great job bringing the action to the screen.
  • Finally, they kept Keanu’s dialogue to a minimum.  He did great in the action scenes, but I cringed a few times when he delivered his lines.  “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back” in particular made me laugh.

Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a former assassin who worked for various parties in the New York underworld, but most recently worked for Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), who gave him an impossible task, that Wick completed, to earn his freedom from the life of crime and killing so he could “retire” and marry his wife.  Of course, he’s pulled back in and kills just about everyone.  It had stellar supporting actors who round out the cast of action movie stereotypes.  Willem Dafoe as the mentor who is brought in to assassinate our hero; Adrianne Palicki as the femme fatale who also tries to assassinate our hero; Alfie Allen as the young thug who wrongs our hero; and Ian McShane as the wise and noble old leader who maintains the code of ethics among their profession.  Their characters may have been action movie staples, but they really did a good job here.  Also, having these better actors in these roles really hides the fact that the main character is only telling his story with his actions.  Normally I’d laugh that off and call foul, but it really worked to everyone’s advantage in John Wick.

Gun fights, fist fights, car chases, car fights, bar fights, a secret society of assassins, a hotel that offers them “holy ground” where they can’t conduct their business, I really enjoyed how this film played everything out.  It may not be cerebral, but it is one of the more intelligently done action films I’ve seen in a while, and certainly one of the most entertaining.

Bottom Line: What happened to his ’69 Mustang?


Posted on 15-02-03, in 4.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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