Keanu Reeves is FINALLY back in the action spotlight, after taking a long (and I mean very long) break from doing anything remotely exciting, since The Matrix. Sure, Reeves has been involved in some decent-to-great films since then, but he’s never quite returned to that level of bad ass action until now. John Wick is an action-lovers wet dream, fusing some unique gun-play concepts with a revenge plot that’s tight and quick and full of bone-crunching action. This is next level action filmmaking done with a sense of flash and style, while never over-complicating a damn thing.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) was once a notorious hitman that got the job done like nobody else. Just the sound of his name would send chills up mob bosses spines. But he fell in love and with that love came an early retirement and a drastic change in his lifestyle.
That all goes to shit as John is brought back out of retirement, to inflict revenge upon those that killed his dog (gifted to him from his now-dead wife). John will do whatever it takes to make sure that justice is served and by that I mean that he will single-handily kill every single person standing in his way to settle a score.
It’s simple as that. No bullshit, no over-complicated story and no maze of motives or conflicts. John Wick is about John Wick getting revenge and doing it with an incredible amount of non-stop momentum behind him.
And the film is an absolute treat. One that echoes back to much more simple times — times when action movies didn’t have to be offensively mindless to be entertained and enjoyed. John Wick is smart in the sense that directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski know exactly what kind of movie that they’re making and they make it with an endless amount of class and sophistication.
They take a simple story and make a rather complex action film that isn’t structured in a way that’s confusing or complicated, but they present it in a manner that hasn’t really been done on the mainstream before. Think less The Matrix and more Equilibrium.
John Wick‘s action is next level stuff, blending extended amounts of creative gun-play with hand-to-hand combat that’s grounded in realism. All of this happens while the camera swooshes around the room in a buttery smooth and distant manner, creating hard-hitting action that’s pound-for-pound better than most of the films that are deemed “action” by today’s standards.
All of this happens without the film ever losing its sense of humor and light feeling. John Wick feels weightless, yet hits like a ton of bricks once the shit hits the fan and trust me it definitely hits the fan and on many occasions.
Star Keanu Reeves handles this with a strong sense of calm, never speaking more than he has to, yet always firing a weapon or snapping a neck when the opportunity arises. Seriously, where has Reeves been for the past decade? I last recall really connecting with his turn in Street Kings, but aside from that, his name attached to a movie has mostly elicited painful groans or shrugs from myself and most of the general public that I view movies with.
But none of that matters now, because he’s back and better than ever!
The film ends on a down note that somewhat kills the fast-paced speed of everything before it, but even that is a very minor speed-bump when compared to the grand scheme of things. John Wick moves fast, with very little flaw on the editing side and little to no bad performances. Everyone is accounted for. A few key actors probably could have managed a little better with less material, but these are mere nitpicks that don’t exactly hold the film back, but perhaps slow it down a tad more than it should.
John Wick is inherently awesome. It’s a movie that’s just purely bad ass from the ground up. The action, the direction, the music, the editing and just about everything else is spot on. The film hits and it hits real hard, spawning a soon to be cult classic character (while also bailing Keanu Reeves out of “what the fuck kind of acting have you been doing for the last decade!?” purgatory) and hopefully earning rookie directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski plenty of work in the action filmmaking field. There’s just too much to love about the film (and very little to dislike). I strongly recommend this to every single soul looking for a motion picture with a bang.
John Wick – 8.5/10