John Wick is the 2014 blockbuster starring the guy who is just as kickass at age of 50. Yep, I am talking about Neo but only this time, he has hit the nail with his performance. I came across John Wick’s premise and for some reason, I was not into it thinking, “this is just another revenge flick“. It is… actually… The premise is somewhat close to Kill Bill but then, John Wick is an enjoyable roller coaster ride that has intense action scenes while giving breathing space with the slowly directed scenes with no background score.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired assassin lived his peaceful life with his wife (Bridget Moynahan). She passes away due to an ailment but posthumously, she gifts him with a pet puppy as her sign of affection, hoping that it will keep him happy. Eventually, a group of thugs break into his house and steal his car, kills his dog in the process. John Wick sets out to seek revenge.
Now, although the premise is similar to a typical revenge flick which involves a deadly assassin, John Wick has presented rock solid action sequences, well-choreographed fight scenes, and intensity. The gun fu fights and Reeves’s flexibility matches at par and will make you gasp. Plus, the script is well thought out, giving Wick enough depth as an individual. The reason why he sets off to hunt down the killers of his dog is not just due to his attachment towards the same. As a person, he is trying to forget his past and live a normal life. Fate takes his wife away but her gift gave him a sense of hope and purpose. He was grounded as an individual but the fact that the thugs killed it to solely take it out of the equation angered him. John’s role as a killing machine is intriguing. The scene where he digs out the guns and money from his home basement is symbolic. He buried his past under his house which represents his heart. Now, circumstances forced him to dig it up. Keanu Reeves delivered a good performance and this film redeemed his earlier choices which had stone faced portrayal. His rage, flexibility, and coolness are seen throughout. Willem Dafoe stuck to his standards and Michael Nyqvist gave a layered portrayal, though I challenge his morality as a father for giving away his son. Adrianne Palicki is flexible and her character could have been elaborated a bit more. Seemingly she is just there for a tussle and a misogynist line “pussy”. What’s with the tough female fights and shaming womanhood altogether? Drop it Hollywood, for god’s sake! Plus, why did John Wick spare her life just like that? Afterall, she tried to kill him and betrayed his best friend. And, some of the deaths were quite obvious along with “double crosses”. Apart from the character depth and performances, John Wick also presented the world that will make you go, wow really?! There are people who provide resources and facilities for assassins, like a hotel room, house keeping, medical services, “dinner reservation” and the coins they use to pay for the same, which reminded me of the galleons used in Harry Potter. It is clever and fascinating.
The best part of the film is undoubtedly the action and action filmmakers who use a lot of shaky cams and fast cuts could learn a thing or two along with Keanu Reeves’s flexibility. Despite the cheesy and commonly used premise, John Wick is entertaining action buster and you will like to watch over and over if you like the genre.
Featured image: screen rant