JOHN WICK pretty much kicks butt. Hey, they stole his car, man. They frickin’ killed his puppy. It wasn’t even a dog, yet. John Wick shoots, I believe, seventy-seven bad guy minions in reply. Right-the-F-on! This is the sort of no-BS action film that a lot of people will scornfully pass up, since there have been countless dozens of crummy One Man Revenge flicks since the days of Charles Bronson (aka ‘Paul Kersey’) making New York City more habitable. Your loss, wussbites.
Kinetically directed by Chad Stehelski, with tongue-in-cheek to just the right degree in the script (Derek Kolstad), the film plays to the strengths of star Keanu Reeves graceful physicality and just-right intensity. Is it socially responsible? I don’t know—will peace come to the Middle East?
Wick is a retired hit-man extraordinaire, who lives in the pulsing neon movie world where there are special huge nightclubs catering to squads of similar experts, including hotties (Adrienne Palicki), Russians (or close enough) in charge (Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen) and another ace-dispatcher to call on, when you need to unpack the arsenal (Willem Dafoe). Bring it!
Good score from Tyler Bates. Running 101 packed minutes. With Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynahan. Also on hand are Walter Hill alumnus David Patrick Kelly (“Warriors, come out to play-ee-ayy” ), and The Wire’s badasses Lance Reddick and Clarke Peters.
$20,000,000 to make, $79,000,000 to take. Positive critical response. Game on for sequels.