Sunday, October 26, 2014

John Wick

Movie Name: John Wick
Year of Release: 2014
Director: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Toby Leonard Moore, Daniel Bernhardt, Lance Reddick, Keith Jardine
Genre: Action/Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski's debut feature "John Wick" is a polished revenge tinted film, that is equally a nicely executed and stylized B movie. The film follows a retired assassin, John Wick, currently grieving the death of his wife. John gets a final gift from her, a small puppy to keep him company. This grief and heartache is abruptly interrupted when John is brutally attacked at his house, and his car is stolen and his dog killed. The criminals who attacked him are actually connected to one of John's previous employers, but nothing stops him on his quest to terminate the people who took away his last change to grieve.
David Leitch and Chad Stahelski both have built a career as stunt coordinators, and that is something that can be seen in the way the film is fluidly staged. The minimal plot allows for the film to flow easily between set pieces, and quickly establishes the characters motivations. There's not much depth to any of these characters, but the film aims to create an action momentum that is non stop (without getting too cartoon like, much like Michael Davis' "Shoot 'Em Up"). Keanu Reeves is well cast as a lethal assassin with a bruised heart, something his saddened eyes quickly expose, however there's also a steely resolution and menace behind his seemingly serene looks. From the supporting cast, the highlights are the always reliable Willem Dafoe and the charismatic Ian McShane. An entertaining film worth watching.