John Wick played by Keanu Reeves is a punch a second thrill ride that doesn’t stop until he is quite literally the last man standing; the films description reads as An Ex-Hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.
Now what could these gangsters have done to bring such vengeance upon themselves? Did they murder his wife? Nope ….. So they must have kidnapped his daughter? ….. Nope not that either ..… No, what these gangsters did was far more hideous than anything you could possibly imagine ….. They stole his car! And killed his puppy that John had for one day (That his late wife left to him).
Now granted the puppy thing is pretty bad, but these two things are the basis for the entire plot for the 101 minute run time. The lead protagonist Viggo Tarasov, is head of an organised crime faction and comes to learn that one of his men (Aureilo) has struck his son.
When Viggo asks why he did this, Aureilo replies “Yeah, well, because he stole John Wick’s car sir and uh, killed his dog”. Upon hearing this, Viggo knows that his sons fate is sealed and simply replies with “oh”.
And so begins the onslaught as John comes out of retirement (not that he needed much of a reason) as the body count racks up throughout the course of the film. John hunts down those responsible for his fallen K9 companion, which would make Taken’s Bryan Mills and the Equalizer’s Robert McCall think twice about messing with him.
There is little room for rest in this film as John moves from scene to scene like a relentless wave of violence, killing all those that stand in his way. No one is safe as the action takes us from Johns home, nightclubs, hotels, churches and docks, proving there is truly nowhere to run once he has his sights set on you.
Aided at times by fellow hit man colleague and friend Marcus (William Dafoe) John cuts a bloody and vengeful path that will have you on the edge throughout the film in well thought out action scenes that are polished and seamless.
The action whilst over the top and full on, somehow manages to maintain a balance of realism, proving at times that John is far from indestructible. What is a nice touch is having Viggo and his men have a real sense of fear of John, even though they have a distinct numbers advantage against him, going as far to refer to him in their native tongue as the man you call to kill the boogyman.
Sure this film has its clichés with usual lines such as “I’m not afraid of him” ….. “Well you should be” but honestly that can all be overlooked here as this is simply an outstanding film that was praised for bringing back Reeves to form.
With a production budget of 20 million Dollars, which may seem modest by today’s movie standards, John Wick performed well at the box office gaining close to 43 million, ensuring a sequel was a certainty.
Production on John Wick 2 began in October 2015 and is scheduled for an October 2016 release; if this stays true to its form blending action with a subtle sense of humour then honestly this could give the Taken franchise a run for its money.
Not only did John Wick rack up a body count of 77 within the film, but it also racked up rave reviews from critics all over, and so from this critic out of a possible five stars John Wick earns:
What did you think of John Wick? Did the lack of plot hurt the film or did the non-stop action make up for this?
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