Posted April 2, 2015 by editor in Film Reviews

John Wick Review


John Wick is a man suffering. Following the eventual death of his spouse to an unnamed disease, the silent type that this man is quietly deals with his loss and mourning. But, in one final act of love, his former lover organized the world’s most adorable puppy to be delivered to their door following her demise, so that her husband may grieve with a companion, while also finding something new to love. Oh, and he’s a former assassin.

But that all changes when a young and naive Russian gangster Iosef wants Wick’s sick set of wheels. When the titular character tells the hapless criminal to get lost, Wick’s house gets broken into, he gets beaten, the car gets stolen, and the pooch gets whacked.

Little did Iosef know that John Wick was a veteran of a certain set of skills, and in fact worked for his father – indeed, he was his fathers best employee. And so we watch an hour and a half of bullets, bouts and bleeding.

Keanu Reeves is back in action and back on form as the unparalleled John Wick in this noir thriller, brought by first time feature directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. In the same vein as Taken and Man on Fire, but with about as much subtlety as a shotgun, John Wick bursts onto the screens and is nothing more than a joy to watch. If truth be told, it’s somehow both Point Break and Grosse Pointe Blank.

But what divides this film from its peers is it’s style, it’s look and a hint of creativity. The sets where chaos reigns are vibrant and catching, the action scenes – being directed from a stunt choreographer – are fast, never over indulgent but still unbelievable. The supporting cast are forever delightful, Willem Dafoe and Ian McShane in particular. Alfie Allen’s Iosef is annoying in his ‘little guy talks big’ shtick, but he’s meant to be.

And the introduction of the hotel for assassins is so well and so crude that you can’t help but love every scene that takes place within it’s walls. That being said, this is without a doubt Keanu’s film, as he plays more close range head shots than you thought could happen in what is a relatively short feature. It’s riveting to see him relish in the role, it looks like he’s having fun again. Apart from where his mutt gets done.

In a film which puts action ahead of story, it’s somehow more compelling than other films released at the moment. Nothing more than sheer fun, but John Wick may just be the coolest film we see this year.

Chris Droney