A former hitman, still suffering after the death of his beloved wife, is forced out of retirement when a group of young gangsters break into his home, steal his car and savagely kill his dog. Blind with revenge, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) unleashes an ungodly amount of destruction and fury towards the men responsible and their family too. An action-packed, sensational start to one of the finest action movie franchises in a very long time.
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
If this movie franchise is capable of teaching anybody anything, it’s probably that John Wick is not a man to be taken lightly. This simple and easy to comprehend tale of revenge was fast, frantic, and exciting throughout – if you’re planning on seeing this movie because you like flicks with a smart or meaningful story, with the occasional twist thrown in, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. If, however, you’re hoping for some incredibly choreographed combat scenes and a visually compelling film, sit back and enjoy this one.
Not only is this a fast-paced action movie, but it also manages to get you emotionally invested too – the death of John Wick’s adored young dog being one of the reasons for his tale of destruction. It’s fair to say that as a viewer you manage to feel his pain suffered, and to an extent, understand the path of revenge ultimately taken – albeit excessive.
Another interesting aspect of the picture is the fact that even if you take away the action element, the filmmakers do a superb job of opening up not only the characters involved, but also the organised crime universe they belong to. There are little snippets of detail that as a viewer you want to learn more about, whether that’s in this flick or down the road in prequels, sequels or spin-offs. Rather surprisingly, there’s even a good amount of humour injected too – not particularly lough out loud moments, but more amusing dialogue that was scripted well, to cut some of the tension from the intensity of the flick.
Keanu Reeves did a great job as John Wick and showed that even at the age of fifty, action films are still in his repertoire. Alfie Allen portrayed Iosef Tarasov, one of the men responsible for the initial attack, while Michael Nyqvist was as convincing as ever as the head of the family that John Wick was seeking revenge toward. Elsewhere, there was also a solid appearance from Willem Dafoe too, adopting the role of Marcus. A character that unfortunately wasn’t given too much screentime.
Of course, with movies of this nature you do have to suspend your belief and if you’re able to do that then you should enjoy this one. With that being said however, I do believe the latter part of the movie seemed to be a little bit rushed, but even so, a thoroughly enjoyable movie that was soon followed by John Wick 2 (2017).
“You stole my car, and you killed my dog!”John Wick – John Wick 1