6 points about
John Wick 2, or chapter 2, or part 2, or whatever uncreative name they came up with comes out very soon, so what better way to celebrate than to talk about the first. Keanu Reeves stars as John Wick, a Jason Bourne type action star who is out or revenge on these guys who killed the dog that his dead wife gave him so he won’t be lonely. Oh and they stole his fancy car as well. Dicks. So what were my thoughts on this 2014 action flick? Read the 6 points below to find out.
1. Keanu Reeves kicked ass!!
Say what you will about Keanu, but there is no denying that he is one of the best working action stars living today. This was the perfect movie for Keanu, who was raking up Razzie nominations in the years between this and The Matrix. He was born to play this role, and this could well topple his performance as Neo in The Matrix franchise. He does most of his stunts himself, and this really adds to the action scenes, as there is no choppy edits trying to hide some stunt man doing all the work in the big culminating battle. For a man of 50 years of age, you would swear he was 25, due to his great action skills. The supporting cast was pretty good, and included some big name appearances such as William Dafoe, but this really is Keanu’s movie
2. The action was pure brilliance.
I touched on this above, but some action movies are very jump cutty and full of shaky cam, which doesn’t let you see what is really going on, therefore making it harder to invest in the scene. This is not a problem what so ever in John Wick. As I said, Keanu does his own stunts, and not only does them, but kicks ass in them. There are some wonderful shootouts, in which Wick always kills with a headshot, which only provokes his anti-hero/badass status. There was one particular nightclub scene that is absolutely spectacular. In fact, almost every action scene was memorable, and never felt like filler or throw-away. They also always had some emotional punch to them, and never felt like the directors were running out of stuff to put in and were just like “hey! We have nothing for anybody to do here, so here are some dudes fighting”. This is a major flaw of many action movies, but thankfully John Wick steered clear of that
3. This movie packed an emotional punch.
No it’s not as emotional as Schindler’s List or as tear-jerking as Good Will Hunting, but it definitely has a decent back-story. John Wick’s characters wife has just died, and the puppy that she organised to be given to him, has now also been killed. This was executed perfectly, in a way that had minimal dialogue, and also didn’t waste 20 minutes of screen-time introducing Wick’s wife and then just killing her off. The way that this was handled, made us realise and care more about Wicks, and also got me a whole lot more invested in the story from the word go. No, you don’t need to pack tissues to this one, but it at least had some emotional weight, instead of mind numbing action scenes that you simply don’t care about. I hope that second movie doesn’t fall into this trap, and simply think that we will enjoy it because the action was great in the first. The action needs a purpose, and I really hope they find a way to give it one.
4. John Wick isn’t without its action movie clichés.
Most action movies are suspect to some of these, and to be honest I’m not complaining too much, I am simply stating the facts. Some of these clichés include some dodgy dialogue. The screenplay in this movie was actually considerably good, but there are a few pieces of dialogue that felt unrealistic and cheesy. There was also a case of wondering how the main hero can fall down two stories with little more than a scratch, while many of the extras can obtain injuries far easier. I get that they are pushing John Wick as a serious threat, but after all he is a human. And any human that falls 2 stories after taking 4 bullets to the stomach should be in a bit more pain. This is simply the logical side of my brain turning on, but if you turn that off, you can really enjoy this movie. To be fair, this move wasn’t too bad for having action movie clichés, but it still had its moments.
5. How does this compare to other action movies??
That is an interesting question, and I do rate this movie. In comparison to the likes of the original Bourne trilogy, I would probably put it a bit under them, but far better than the newest Bourne’s. I would put John Wick on par with most of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as the original Matrix, but stands above the sequels. It is much better than any other recent low-budget action movies such as The Equalizer or The Expendables. I hope that you have a fair idea as to where I think that this movie ranks in the action movie spectrum, and read my final point below to find out my overall rating of John Wick.
6. Overall, John Wick is a thoroughly entertaining action movie that is one of the best in recent memory.
I really enjoyed this movie, and I can’t wait for the sequel. I hope that it follows in the footsteps of the Bourne franchise and not the Taken franchise. The action was fantastic, Keanu was fantastic, dammit everything was fantastic. There was some amazing actin scenes that I won’t be forgetting any time soon. This wasn’t the most philosophical or Oscar bait movie ever made, but it certainly entertained me on a number of levels, and I only really had a couple of negatives with the movie. I will give John Wick a 9/10.