Head of Russian mob family: “I heard you hit my son.”
“Yes I did.”
“May I ask why?”
“Because he stole John Wick’s car and killed his dog.”
This movie is surprisingly fun. The action scenes were well done without being terrible over the top, boring, or confusing. The humor was expertly well timed. The supporting cast is a better than you expect for this film…and Keanu gives one of the better performances of his career.
The story of a man who loses his wife, and then has his dog (the last gift from his wife) killed and car stolen by the son of a Russian gangster. Of course this man, John Wick, used to be the Russian mob’s most lethal enforcer. So…of course he is going to track down the thugs who killed his dog and quite justly kill them. And you will enjoy every moment of it.
Okay let’s get the obvious out of the way. Yes it’s Keanu Reeves which means that there is not exactly a wealth of expression going on in this film (yes The Lake House and Something’s Got To Give show his trademark acting is a bit more of type casting than actual limits on acting ability, but Keanu is who he is: the actor you go to when you need deadpan looks). Still while most of the film is him being a stone cold killer, the death of his wife and dog do bring out more depth than most directors allow Reeves to demonstrate.
Of course something needs to be said about the action in this film as it’s probably the primary reason to see this movie. I will admit I usually don’t care much about the action sequences in a film as there is little for my analytic nature to work with–but that said I can admit that choreography of action sequences in movies has lately gotten a little weak. Focusing more on either the chaotic nature of a fight which makes it impossible to tell what is going on (I think we can all admit the shaky cam is something that needs to be done away with) or on really over blown CGI’d stunts that now make The Matrix look tame by comparison. But the movie had well-choreographed action where I could tell exactly what is going on in every fight and while there were some special effects shots, nothing was so over the top that it caused me to suspend disbelief. Of course given that the two directors for this film are both stunt men, it wasn’t all that surprising that the fight scenes were competently done.
Finally there is there is the humor. There is some incredibly well timed humor in this movie surrounding everyone knowing that John Wick is the kind of person you shouldn’t ever consider offending. I don’t want to give it away but there were numerous occasions where the theater I was in burst out laughing due to unexpected but perfectly pulled off jokes.
I’m not going to lie, this movie is nothing more than brain candy entertainment, but it is fun.
Grading on a curve, I give it 4 out of 5.