John Wick is awesome! I could leave it at that. A simple premise: John Wick is sent over the edge when burglars steal his car and kill his dog shortly after the death of his wife. His attackers will regret they ever did that, as now he’s coming after them and he won’t stop until they are dead. Keanu Reeves has somewhat been on a rocky road/hiatus these past few years, but 2015 is his comeback with awesome cat and mouse thriller Knock Knock under his sleeve as well as this slick 2014 shooter John Wick.
Much like this year’s Mad Max Fury Road, John Wick is decidedly short on dialogue, characters only speak to one another when necessary and it works so well. There are no heavy expositional scenes which is refreshing, everything is told through small details of backstory and visuals. I prefer films with little dialogue, you usually find that the very few lines make for memorable one liners and quotes you can't help but keep repeating. Keanu Reeves is suitably brooding and simultaneously classy, it's great to see him back at what he does best. Lance Reddick is effortlessly cool as a hitman hotel concierge, and Adrianne Palicki is a very welcome addition as a sexy yet experienced killer who gives Wick a run for his money. Rounding out the exceptional supporting cast is Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters and John Leguizamo. I hope for the sequel the surviving characters return!
The lighting in this film is stunning, especially in the nightclub shootout. Hues of bloody reds, cool blues mixed in with subtle candle lights and muzzles flashes blend together seamlessly for one fine looking sequence. During the finale, thunder strikes through thick rain drops in a Sin City manner and it's timed perfectly with the characters taking and throwing punches. The fight choreography is frickin' amazing, I'm using the word frickin' cause I'm so giddy and impressed by the amount of face and head-shots, insane body slam dunks and flips, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch took inspiration from anime and martial arts films and they've constructed a kinetic adventure that never lets up!
I've turned into a real soppy moviegoer this past year, more films have made me tear up than usual and I finally see why people become anxious when there's a dog in a film cause it usually dies. Wick's wife leaves him a puppy in her will to keep him company and stop him from mourning alone and isolated. Robbers break in, steal his car and kill the dog. It's shocking, and bloody good reason for Wick to snap and exact vengeance, and when he does bodies hit the floor in style. There's a scene where Nyqvist's Viggo Tarasov orders a team of killers to take Wick out in his home, it's the perfect way to start the rampage of revenge Wick goes on. As mentioned before, the nightclub scene is the standout, action films will get a kick out of this! I recommend John Wick if you want to have a bloody good time.