Sunday, November 2, 2014

John Wick (USA, 2014)

Nine Things About the Movie "John Wick" (USA, 2014)

1. This is probably the best action movie of 2014. It's certainly the movie with the highest body count of 2014.

2. It's directed by two guys who, before they made this movie together, were mostly stunt coordinators and stunt doubles for people like Brad Pitt, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Keanu Reeves.

3. Speaking of Keanu Reeves, he's great in this. You see, there is a very specific type of movie in which Keanu excels - action flicks where he moves around a lot and hardly talks. This had to be his dream role.

4. Reeves plays John Wick, a depressed nobody dealing with the loss of his wife. When a few things go wrong, we find out that John isn't exactly a nobody. In fact, he has quite a reputation as an assassin for the Russian mafia.

5. What's fascinating about this film is that this is no street-level gang war stuff. These are all super rich, civilized professionals that move in their own exclusive circles. There are codes to be honored, and rules to be followed.

6. There are some truly great action sequences in the movie. These scenes were clearly inspired by John Woo's Chinese gun-fu classics like "The Killer" and "Hard Boiled".

7. The movie has a sleazy, industrial rock soundtrack which is a great counterpoint to the opulent, cultured environment that the characters live in.

8. Of course, being firmly in the action genre, it also follows those conventions, like bad guys that line up to take on the good guy one by one. And villains that like to tie the good guy up in a chair and give a speech, instead of just killing him. But people do run out of bullets sometimes, so that's a refreshing change.

9. The movie has a wry sense of humor, letting us know that it knows what it is. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and doesn't try to be anything other than a revenge flick that kicks ass. If that's what you're looking for, then you just found it.