John Wick, directed by Chad Stahelski is a film that knows exactly what it is and makes no noticeable effort to be anything other than a silly but fun to watch action movie. It is one with some brilliantly constructed fight sequences and a plot just simple (but once again silly) enough for you to get on board and follow along with.
Headed by Keanu Reeves, John Wick is the story of a man mourning the loss of his wife and trying to grieve alongside the last gift that she ever gave him, a cute, heart string pulling puppy that is his last connection to her. Things do however take a turn for the worse after some thoughtless gangsters take a liking to his 1969 Ford Mustang. Wanting the keys to said car the gangsters ambush him at his house and after some cruelly played out events, John Wick once again goes on the rampage for justice and sweet, sweet revenge.
Without a doubt the stand out point of John Wick is its action and who’d be surprised when you’ve got the stunt team from the Matrix trilogy choreographing it all. There are so many layers to the various and bloody action sequences and they all come together to deliver what I think are some of the best done action scenes in an American made film for some time (no ridiculously unwatchable shaky cam here). The composition of the shots, the lighting, the unusual music choices and the brutal and well done fight choreography all come together to give some really satisfying moments. These moments definitely make the film as fun to watch as it is.
The problem that some are certainly going to have with this film is its ridiculous plot and a collection of performances and characters that leave a bit to be desired. Keanu Reeves as the stoic John Wick is somewhat passable in the film, he doesn’t do anything new and doesn’t warrant you rushing to the cinema to see him but he’s still not unwatchable, it’s Keanu Reeves, no one was expecting anything ground breaking.
The rest of John Wick offers a decent cast in the way of semi-big names but all take on roles that offer nothing exciting or interesting to the film. I couldn’t pick one in particular out of a crowd and say “Oh that one, yeah he was really good”. This is a film of bland, one dimensional characters that fill their purposes adequately in terms of the plot.
Which leads to the plot, a plot that is in no way subtle in the way it tries to drag you into John Wick’s world but the world that it pulls you into is it least somewhat interesting. Still once the film has gotten past its silly introductory plot device the story is simple enough to follow and does deliver some funny moments and don’t forget those action sequences, the films chalked full of them and as I’ve already said are the main reason for seeing this film.
John Wick is a good action movie, like I said before; it knows what type of film it is and runs with it. This will certainly be one that divides opinion but I think people clambering for a good action movie will be pleased with what John Wick has to offer.
I’m going to recommend John Wick but with a slight condition. If you’re looking for a good action film, with really well done action (on all fronts) then this is certainly the film for you but if you’re looking for a film that has a little more to offer in the way of a deep and involving story, well developed characters etc. Perhaps you should give this one a miss.