Director: Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan
Genre: Action, Thriller
Age Rating: 15/R
Running Time: 101 minutes
JOHN WICK. Two words which will strike fear into the eyes of every single character at some point during this film.
Starring Keanu Reeves as John Wick, the plot of this action thriller is simple as they come and jam packed with gunfire and mixed martial arts.
John Wick (Reeves) is an ex-hitman who dropped his brutal profession and went straight for his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan) for the past five years. Following her death from a tragic illness, he receives a pet puppy from beyond the grave, an idea his wife had to help John deal with the grief of losing her. After Iosef (Alfie Allen), the naïve son of a Russian gangster decides to burgle John and kill his dog, taking the one remaining part of his wife away from him, it is time for the deadly hitman to reload his weapons and make anybody involved with Iosef’s stupidity pay!
Going into this film, I could not believe the levels of love it was receiving, which was possibly backed by the simplicity of the plot and not being a huge Keanu Reeves fan myself. However, half way through the film, I realised that this was possibly the most fun I have had with a ‘guns and explosions’ feature film since SHOOT EM UP (2007) starring Clive Owen, with a very similar feel to THE EQUALIZER (2014).
The layout of the experience was very similar to that, a raged hit man taking his anger out on the incompetent gangsters and goons around him with outrageous kills and an underlying sense of comedy in what we were witnessing! This truly was a “boys night in” film and 101 minutes of non stop entertainment!
Supported by brilliant music from Joel J. Richard and Tyler Bates the film had a great degree of style which I did not think I could see in Keanu Reeves. He certainly surprised me in this feature, and this was the most I had enjoyed a film involving him since THE MATRIX TRILOGY, although once again his dialogue was pretty minimalistic.
Overall, JOHN WICK was certainly an entertaining experience, which I have not witnessed for a while, with great music, a credible cast and an understandable motive (especially when you see how damn cute that beagle is!). My only criticisms are that I did not feel the ending was as climatic as it could have been, if anything the film lost its levels of excitement towards the end, and that I will always look at this as an entertaining good laugh, opposed to a great and legendary action film such as DIE HARD.
“In a bar, I once saw him kill three men… With a pencil.”
Recommendation: Definitely worth a watch when you do not want to have to think or concentrate hard when you’re watching a film! Great fun and can fully recommend a rental or a purchase to any action junkie out there.