John Wick (2014)

13 Nov

He’s back and meaner than ever. Keanu Reeves stars as the titular character John Wick, a retired hitman hell-bent on avenging his dog by taking out a few members of a NYC mafia brotherhood. We don’t know much about Mr.Wick; we know he had a lover who recently passed away. We know he makes (or made) an insane amount of cash for his services, and we know he likes his guns.

Directors David Leitch,  and Chad Stahelski keep the action at a tight pace with John Wick, while providing us with just enough exposition to get us from scene to scene. The action is stylish and sequenced very well, complimented with feverish amounts of blood and gore. Keanu seems to fit right at home in his action environment. Though he shows no real character depth, he plays his role as hunter/executioner fearlessly and is a commanding presence while on screen.  The supporting cast is mostly composed of stock archetypes and flatter-than-pancake characters, the few notable standouts being played by Willem Dafoe and Michael Nyqvist

The script is pretty much B-movie type stuff, but the execution of certain sequences never quite reach the playfulness a script like this needs to be successful. John Wick takes itself way too serious to have much fun and instead of trying something original with the material, the directors simply copy and paste what successful genre films have done before. We get the same characters and scenarios we have seen countless times before from Taken to Die Hard to Transporter.

Overall, John Wick quickly becomes a fairly typical shoot-em-up thriller. Stylish yes, but not enough substance to warrant a second viewing.

 

Rating 5/10 

Similar to: Taken (2008), Mission Impossible (1996), The Transporter (2002) 

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