Thursday, November 13, 2014

John Wick - Movie Review

John Wick is an action thriller directed by Chad Stahelski and was written by Derek Kolstad. The movie features Keanu Reeves in the title roll along with Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem DaFoe, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and John Leguizamo.

After spending several years as an expert hit man for the mob, John Wick (Reeves) has been living a life of retirement and relaxation. After losing his wife to a fatal illness, he discovers that she has left him with one last gift, a puppy to keep him company during his time of mourning. At least until a group of thugs break into his home, beat him up, steal his car, and kill his dog. This, of course, is the biggest mistake this group of men will ever make in their now extremely shortened lives as John Wick, a man who is extremely talented at his craft, will now stop at nothing to get his revenge.

Honestly, there isn't a lot that needs to be said about this movie other than it really kicks ass. Chad Stahelski is a former stunt man and fight coordinator so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to craft a movie filled with shooting, stabbing, and other various forms of combat. For a first time director (he did have help from fellow stunt man David Leitch), the end result turned out very clean and precise. The run time is 101 minutes but it really doesn't even feel that long as we get a fairly quick setup and introduction and then it's straight into the action all the way through to the end.

If you're wondering about Keanu Reeves and the quality of his performance, I would have to say it is the best work he's done in years. Sure, the guy will most likely never be up for one of those little golden statues, but when it comes to a movie like this, he delivers on all fronts. For the most part, he plays the character as brooding and angry which is well within his abilities and, the rest of the time, he is either stabbing, kicking, punching, or shooting someone in the head so, really, what more do you want? The rest of the cast pretty much does their job well enough to get by and the dialog they get to deliver is just solid enough to not be laughable.

John Wick is a movie that could have easily been left for dead and forgotten at the bottom of the bargain bin, but Stahelski, Reeves, and company manage to hit just the right style and tone to make this a really fun, action packed adventure that doesn't pull any punches. If you like your man-on-a-mission action movies filled with nothing but fight scenes and mayhem then this is the movie for you.


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