While revenge fantasies have been well covered in the theater, there’s still something about them that sucks us all in. Produced by two former stuntmen, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, this is a movie made for people who like action, by a couple of guys who really know action.
Keanu Reeves plays the title character, John Wick. When we meet Mr. Wick, he’s living the quiet life in New Jersey, happily spending time with a puppy bought for him by his dead wife. Then, enter some Russian mobsters, who see his flashy car decide to break into his house and beat the stuffing out of him, as well as murder his dog. What these mobsters didn’t know was that Wick is a retired assassin and apparently, a very passionate dog lover. What follows is Wick leaving a trail of bodies from New Jersey to New York, with no plan to stop until just about everyone is dead.
My biggest gripe? Puppy murder. I really can’t handle that. When a dog dies in a movie, I get so upset, it’s usually pretty hard to concentrate on anything else. On the upside, because it’s a revenge flick, I was able to get behind Wick’s killing spree. Still, I wish they had made it a cat instead.
Reeves doesn’t have much range. Let’s admit that. But in stylish action, he knows how to shine. He’s pretty much played the same character since the Matrix, but he plays it well. He’s a one man killing machine.
The movie isn’t all about the big explosions. Instead, it follows the slow escalation. Wick’s initially going after some street thugs, and then eventually he’s taking on the entire Russian mob.
Another problem occurred towards the end, when Wick has finally been caught by the Russians. Despite knowing that Wick is just about the deadliest assassin who ever existed, the head of the family decides to talk to him for ten minutes and then leave the room, sure that his henchmen will be able to carry out the murder. Of course, that doesn’t happen.
This is a good effort for a revenge movie and I liked what he was getting revenge for; puppy murder. Who can’t get behind a guy going after a bunch of pricks who would murder a puppy? I know John Wick is my personal hero for that reason alone. Has anyone considered giving him Michael Vick’s address?
I like it when action doesn’t go over the top in ways of huge explosion and hour long fights, and this movie does well in that. The build up does come to a pretty satisfying conclusion, but you’re not going to go deaf from listening to explosions every twelve seconds.
It’s a unique twist on a revenge movie and the plot is well driven, unfolding at an even pace. It’s entertaining, but not over the top. This is not an action movie that tries too hard. Instead, it’s a stylish movie with a bad guy you can really hate (puppy murderer) and a good guy you can get behind. While not all the plot points meet up, it’s still worth the watch.
WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!