Every now and then an action film comes along that is so good it changes the trend of the genre and it becomes the one to aspire to for the next 5 or so years. ‘The Matrix‘ did it. ‘Taken‘ did it. Others have done it. And now ‘John Wick‘ has gone and done it too.
Keanu Reeves is John Wick, an ex assassin who lives a quiet life with his wife. Until she dies and leaves him a dog to look after instead. But then some Russian gangsters beat him up, steal his super cool car and commit the worst crime of all: they kill his dog. No John Wick is back in the game and back in action as he goes on a mission of revenge to hunt down and kill those Russian gangsters, even if he has to go against the crime syndicate to get to them. It sounds like a really simple story, and that’s because it is. But when it’s this much fun, this cool and this awesome, who cares about a story being simple?!
What makes this film so awesome is the action. It’s fast, it’s frenetic and it’s super cool. It’s all sweet gun-fu moves and Wick racking up headshots quicker than a video game player. He really is the best at his job and he shows it by just killing so many bad guys. It’s fun to watch because he’s just so good and knows what he’s doing that he’s almost unstoppable. It really is like a video game. It’s got a cool techno score over the top and it’s just easy and fun to watch. Everything is so well choreographed that you can’t help but just watch without blinking or breathing. IT’S SO AWESOME!
Reeves is great as the stoic hero just looking to retire peacefully. He’s a reluctant hero and you really can tell that he just wants to be left alone to mourn his wife in peace. You can see it in his face how angry he is at these punks for messing that up. It really is a great performance. He’s tragic and yet also really cool. Ian McShane is good as the head of this crazy underground assassin club. This film does well to introduce a really interesting world of assassins that gets explored more in the sequel. Michael Nyqvist as the head Russian baddie is very good. He’s quite menacing but also really good at acting out his character’s breakdown as he becomes more and more enraged and scared at the incoming threat of John Wick. Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo, Adrianne Palicki and Alfie Allen also bring strong performances to round out a good cast of characters.
‘John Wick’ is a really great film. Huge credit to directors Chad Staheliski and David Leitch for creating a new world and a new style of awesome action. Bad move for inspiring what will be a slew of terrible rip offs to come, but good move to start off a wicked new franchise with a kickass lead. This movie is great fun and definitely worth multiple viewings.
JACK’S SCORE: 4/5