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Movie Monday: John Wick

Monday, November 16, 2015

John Wick

Directed by: Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
Genre: Neo-Noir, Action, Thriller
Running time: 101 minutes
Released: 2014
Distributed by Summit Entertainment & Lionsgate

Legendary assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) retired from his violent career after marrying the love of his life. Her sudden death leaves John in deep mourning. When sadistic mobster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) and his thugs steal John's prized car and kill the puppy that was a last gift from his wife, John unleashes the remorseless killing machine within and seeks vengeance. Meanwhile, Iosef's father (Michael Nyqvist) — John's former colleague — puts a huge bounty on John's head.

John Wick is a refreshingly simple action film. It’s whimsical yet satisfying and is an action film in every sense. It brings endless scenes of all kinds of badass action, with depictions of the underworld, martial arts, gunfights, and even John Wick’s own gun-fu style of combat. It comes with a paper-thin plot but delivers with its fast paced gun-fu action, and that’s really all it needs.

Keanu Reeves plays the titular character John Wick, a retired assassin grieving the recent death of the love of his life. His killer’s instincts are re-ignited when the son of the city’s Russian crime lord breaks into his house and steals his car, killing his puppy in the process, which happened to be the last gift his wife left him. He then goes on a rampage across the underworld to exact his revenge.

The plot is as simple as it sounds. We have John Wick, a legendary assassin who is nicknamed ‘Baba Yaga’ by the Russian mob, which translates roughly to the Boogeyman. Then we have a simple excuse for him to start killing people, and from there the action dictates the rest of the film, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The action is all we want from a film like this and it is done perfectly. While not bad by any means, the dialogue isn’t what we want. We want to see John Wick dropping bodies left and right.

The action in this film is engaging without feeling artificial, and the cast boasts a lot of talent and they breathe life into what would otherwise be one-dimensional characters. Keanu Reeves does a phenomenal job with the action scenes, and there’s also Nyqvist who is both imposing and amusing in the role of the nemesis Russian mob leader. Instead of being the stereotypical badass gang leader, he also shows humor as he giggles at Wick’s tenacity during the climactic car chase. Other characters manage to show a lot with little screen time, like William Dafoe, who plays a sort of mentor figure to Wick.

John Wick is definitely one of the best action films in the past few years. It’s a film that understands what it brings and doesn’t try to do too much at once. It sticks to its guns, and they are powerful ones. I would recommend this film strongly to anyone who doesn’t mind an hour and a half of pure action.

1 comment on "Movie Monday: John Wick"
  1. I love this because.... well Keanu Reeves. I've been a fan of his since I was 13 and saw Speed at the theater. There's nothing of his that I won't watch and love, or at least enjoy. Thanks for sharing!


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