Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Film Review: John Wick

Posted on November 04, 2014 in Arts & Culture, Movie Reviews
By USM Free Press

Summit Entertainment

By Sergey Miller

The newest action movie, John Wick, directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, has a generic plot that mixes such movies as Taken and Man on Fire. However the film is still very memorable and rises above most movies that fall under the common man-takes-revenge plot. Trying to connect the idea of great acting with Keanu Reeves is usually pretty difficult post-Matrix. However, this jammed packed action film is not only smartly executed but skillfully acted by the same man who brought us Nonstop and As Good as it Gets.

The plot of the movie centers on John Wick, who is played by Reeves. Wick becomes a human weapon after a career as hit man for the Russian mob. He marries the love of his life and enjoys some years in retirement away from the criminal underworld, which seems strangely expansive in the film. After the death of his wife, he runs into some gangsters that steal a special gift, a symbol of the only thing left in his lonely life. Brought to a breaking point, Reeves summons his inner Neo and kicks it up a couple of notches with a brutal fighting style and an amazing emotional performance.

The greatest aspect of this movie is that it recognizes what type of movie it tries to be insofar as it really has a simple plot: it does not try to be more than a really well acted action film. Reeves intensity throughout the film spans a wide range of human emotions. For all the movie fans that might be afraid that the great acting of Reeves might overshadow the superhuman karate, flashy slinging, and raw power of the main protagonist, they need not worry.

John Wick is later revealed to be thoroughly integrated into the criminal underworld. As Wick is known and feared by the underworld, his journey leads him through a recognizable cast of characters acted by familiars like Willem Dafoe, Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) and Ian McShane. There are many innovative and particularly creative features of Wick’s underground connections which are there for the audience to ponder about throughout the film. An example of this unfolds as the body clean up team who knows Wick personally works to clean up his homicidal messes like any old business contract. Much of the movie simply shows characters and events as simply present without trying to make everything seem super profound or important. In a way, the film is lighthearted about its own genre. The directing and acting are so top notch that it takes something so overdone and shows what one can do with a good script and great acting.

This film is great visual display of intense action, brutal kills and to see Reeves’ multi-dimensional character.  This film has a strong sense of rhythm and movement that mustn’t be missed. Bullets flying, knife fights, gangster life and a killer stare from Reeves creates an amazing film experience that die-hard action fans and casual thrill seekers will enjoy watching.

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