I’d imagine some stars would think twice before agreeing to appear in a movie directed by their stunt double/martial arts choreographer, but that’s what Keanu Reeves has done with John Wick, and it turned out to be a good idea. I’ve always thought Reeves is a really good actor – as long as he doesn’t speak. John Wick gives him a character that’s who isn’t big on words, but which allows him to showcase that physically he’s very good, especially when given some slick action to dispense.
Keanu is the title character, an ex-assassin who left his life of crime behind when he met the perfect woman. After his wife dies, he’s barely holding on and is sent over the edge when the spoiled, selfish son of a criminal kingpin steals his car and kills the dog John’s wife gave him.
Wick isn’t going to let that lie and so comes out of retirement to exact revenge. News of his return shakes up the criminal fraternity, as he has a reputation for being the best of the best. He’s so good at his job that some call him the bogeyman, or as one crim puts it, it would be more accurate to say he’s the man you call when you need the bogeyman killed. John begins to cut a swathe of violence through the ranks of organised crime, as he works his way to the men he really wants.
In many respects John Wick is a fairly simple film – driving forwards and using it’s cool, stylised look and excellently put together action sequences to create something that is violent, kinetic and entertaining. It backs that up with characters who may not be desperately complex, but have enough to them not to seem completely plastic.
It’s a movie that brings together elements of comic books, videogames and revenge flicks to create something that feels fresh, clean and which has been put together extremely well. It is pretty violent though, so if you’re not a fan of blood-letting, this probably isn’t one for you, but if you have an appreciation for well-choreographed, balletic and yet impactful action, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Sadly, the DVD doesn’t feature any special features, but the movie itself makes up for it.
Overall Verdict: Violent and fairly simple, John Wick has a mission and it executes it with great style and panache, ensuring this is more than just your average revenge flick.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac