Keanu Reeves returns to our screens for the first time since ’47 Ronin’ failed to set the Box Office on fire last year. From first time directors & long time stuntmen, Chad Stahelski & David Leitch, ‘John Wick’ follows a former hit man of the same name as he takes revenge on the criminals who stole his car and killed his dog.
From reading the above you can see that the premise is a simple one, you might also think that a film from stuntmen turned directors could be a bit rubbish, well John Wick is far from rubbish. In fact ‘John Wick’ is the leanest, meanest, fighting machine that has graced the silver screen since ‘Taken’ in 2008.
One of the reasons this film works so well is in part to the simple premise. It doesn’t spend time making elaborate plot twists and there are no unnecessary obstacles for the lead to get through which drag the film out. Obviously in a film such as this you need to have good entertaining action and this is one of the many areas in which the film excels. The directors storied stunt careers have clearly contributed to the fluid, slick action set pieces that litter the film from start to finish, pushing the pace and pumping the adrenaline. It also helps Reeves is no stranger to action himself, and his all round performance is just perfect for the character of John Wick. A moment when he threatens a mob boss and his son whilst tied to a chair is easily the most fearsome Reeves has ever appeared on screen, and its brilliant.
Speaking of Reeves, he seems to have a knack for owning roles. After this I find it hard to see anybody embodying the role of Wick like Reeves has, just like he did with Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan in ‘Bill & Ted’ & Johnny Utah in ‘Point Break’. Sure he has had some less than stellar turns but ‘John Wick’ is definitely one that puts him back on the map. It helps that he has a good supporting cast throughout, John Leguizamo, Willem Defoe, Dean Winters, Michael Nyqvist & Alfie Allen all do what they need to to keep things entertaining, even if some of their roles are very minor.
The only thing I feel that holds the film back from action masterpiece is a seemingly protracted ending where it felt like it was about to end on a couple of occasions, but continued to rumble on. However this is a minor personal feeling on the third act, and nothing that should deter you from watching a hugely enjoyable film.
I’m not going to harp on too long about ‘John Wick’, its simply a film you should watch and enjoy. It’s fast, brutal, stylish and fun and you can’t ask for anything more from an action film.