John Wick is a retired mafia hitman living the dream, until one sad day his wife dies of cancer. Before she does though she gifts him with a farewell puppy. Of course, because this is an action movie, you know this puppy is doomed, and also the people who bring doom upon the puppy are equally doomed.
It really isn’t rocket science sometimes. All you need is a sympathetic “dangerous” leading good guy, some dumb bad guys working for a higher up bad guy, a ton of bullets, and there’s your movie. Just such a flick is John Wick.
Keanu Reeves is not my first pick for an action star of this type but he is completely up to the task here and brings Matrix like moves to scenes where he is required to dispense with bad guys uber quickly to levels that are ridiculous even by dumb action movie standards.
Michael Nyqvist is also effective as lead villain Viggo Tarasov. He gets to spend much time being the overly talkative villain, but his philosophical waxings add a nice depth to the movie. Also enjoyed many other minor players here such as Willem Dafoe as a badass ally of Wick, Ian Mcshane as the owner of a safe house luxury hotel where gangsters can stay without the fear of being shot at, Adrianne Palicki as a female assassin sent after John Wick, and my favorite hidden easter egg of the movie Clarke Peters (the smartest detective on The Wire) who has a short bit as a guest at the hotel.
This is a groovy little neo-noir shoot em’ up action flick. I didn’t find too much here to gush over but I loved a lot of the actors, dug the action set pieces a whole lot, and found the film very easy to watch.
If you’re a fan of this kind of movie, this delivers on all expectations with precision.
John Wick gets a three out of five: GOOD.