Finally, a movie you can just sit back and enjoy. Simple, no-nonsense, direct and brutal, John Wick delivers a very tight grouping of shots, two to the chest and one to the head. A return to form for Keanu Reeves, this movie is fast and deliberate. From almost balletic gunplay to simple lines from Keanu to brutal killshots, this film has all the elements set in place. Like he says, “I am thinking I am back.”
Directed by Chad Stahelski, John Wick is one of those films that instantly get slotted in to the guy film category. You will want to watch this movie over and over again, just to enjoy the Gun-fu of the masterful Reeves. This is the story of John Wick. A name that inspires fear in the old guard of the Russian Mafia. He has been out, retired. Tragedy strikes and he loses his wife. The last thing that she leaves him is a dog. As bad luck would have it, the dog is killed by Russian thugs who are after Wick’s car. So, guess what happens next? That’s right, John Wick gets back to doing what he does best. The bodies quickly start piling up. This is a revenge story written with bullets and blood. John Wick gets the job done, but will he survive?
This film does it right. There isn’t any second-guessing. You aren’t left wondering about the hero’s motivation, nor are you left in doubt about the core message of the film, which is mainly “ Never mess with a man’s car or his dog.” You aren’t shown a lot of backstory regarding John Wick’s life. Rather it focuses on the here-and-now. The way the world of the Mafia is portrayed is wonderful. With safe havens and neutral zones and cleaners and concierge, all of whom are paid in mysterious gold coinage, the world gets a dark, grey-blue coloring. It feels like an old-school gunplay movie. And you get to enjoy it.
The action is brilliant, with superb close quarters combat. Pay special attention to the gun-fu of Reeves, he revels in it. You will enjoy the moments of simple one-word dialogues. Keanu Reeves has gotten back into the skin of a character that only he could play. The bad guys are fun to watch as well. Michael Nyquist and Alfie Allen play the father-son duo who head the Russian mob. Both of them are good, Michael more so. We have Adrianne Palicki playing a female assassin with relish. Then there are the big names, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe. Each of them have bit parts, but do not think that these parts are just there to please egos. The story moves along with input from each of them. Keep a ear open for the soundtrack, you will enjoy the flow and feel of the music, it adds another layer to the film. But the whole thing rides entirely on the black-suited shoulders of Keanu Reeves. And he carries it off amazingly.
Why should you watch this movie?
Gun-fu, fast cars, Keanu in black, headshots, bad guys with bad attitudes and whole lot of combat. That is all. A simple story about revenge. Watch this movie with your buddies and enjoy a tightly done action film with no loose ends.