This weeks movie sees me delve into another with a simple plot….coincidence, or have movies take this up as a trend? I mean it is a recession and all that…but I digress. The simple plot resulting in a simple goal that I am referring to is John Wick, which sees Keanu Reeves return for his lasted martial art – shoot’em up – everything goes kablamo film.
The plot goes like this, Keanu Reeves’ character, John Wick, is mourning the death of his recently deceased wife. After the funeral, John gets a delivery of a puppy, a parting gift from his dead wife to help him move on….this hits you right on the cry-meter for sure! So John and his new furry pal get acquainted, only to encounter the son of a Russian mob boss Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), after he shoots his mouth off thinking Wick doesn’t speak Russian…Wick is so intense I wouldn’t have been surprised if he spoke Klingon! This altercation results in Iosef and his cronies breaking into Wick’s house, thrashing it, stealing his car and,look away now…..killing his puppy… Mother F@$%er!!!
Now I know what you are thinking…Goddamit Stephen, way to spoil the movie. Well I didn’t really… cause it literally happens within the first 15 minutes or so..plus its all in the trailer. So really…you should blame the trailer! When Iosef shows the car to John Leguizamo’s character Aurelio in his garage, he instantly recognises it and tells him to get the hell out…cue the wrestler The Undertakers entrance music, ’Are you scared?…He’s here!’.
The rest of the movie sees John Wick seeking gory vengeance in a take-no-prisoner style that Reeves made famous in The Matrix. It is really a 80/90’s film made with a present day budget and advanced martial arts skills. It isn’t really trying to teach you anything, then again…what action movie is? The action scenes in this film are immense. The last time I really felt like that during an action movie was with Tony Jaa in Ong Bak. Jaa really brought action sequences to a new level in 2003 with its release, and its a pity that he is forced to resort to cameo role in movies like Furious 7 to be seen on-screen.
The movie delivers an interesting look into the world of modern-day mobsters and hitmen, as you get see that they have their own languages, rules and codes. This is portrayed in some very witty dialogue, however it does fall short at times…but who watches an action movie for dialogue. Then they’re moments such as when Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist) tells his son of Wick’s nickname ’The Boogeyman’, saying, “John wasn’t exactly the boogeyman. He’s the one you sent to kill the fucking boogeyman”. That quote sums up John Wick’s mindset throughout the movie, with a fighting style so ruthless, he simple kills each threat as quickly as possible and moves on. This comes as no surprise with the two directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, Stahelski himself doubling for Reeves in The Matrix movies, delivering loads of authentically choreographed action, featuring some of their signature ‘gun-fu’ moves along the way.
As I said in the beginning John Wick sees the return of Keanu Reeves, which I for one and happy about. I mean..for all the action stars who have already returned, producing some second if not third-rate piles of nonsense …que all the Expendables franchise, and pretty much every Stallone movie post Rocky. I would much rather it to be good guy Keanu Reeves, and by good guy I mean google, ’Keanu Reeves on a train’. With the same hand I can say, ‘Sure, not all Stallone/Arne movies are bad’…and that is true. Same goes for Reeves, but at least with him I know he is acting. He may not deliver, or maybe the script doesn’t…but at least you know who he is, he is a guy who lives in a not too luxurious home, takes the train, and acts…he doesn’t own his own army tank or isn’t made of plastic; trying to hold on to his youth, instead of actually looking like that rack of meat he was hitting in that famous movie he was once in. That’s not Keanu Reeves, he keeps himself to himself, lives how he wants to, acts in a different variety of roles…although some aren’t as great as others..sorry champ. He doesn’t hang on to what he did, he just keeps doing what he does, the way he wants to…and if you googled what I asked you to earlier, you’ll know he is an absolute Gent too…and for me that is as badass as they come.
To concluded, John Wick is a fantastic action movie. Now to use a phrase I seem to use a lot throughout these blogs…’It may not be perfect’…but is sure does deliver! And that’s without mentioning some of the amazing supporting cast and cameos throughout featuring the likes of Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki,Bridget Moynahan, Lance Reddick and the legendary Ian Mc Shane. Don’t expect the plot to blow you away, just let the action.