Why yes, there is honor among assassins.
John Wick is a suspense thriller that was brilliantly told in just under two hours of film. That being said, it’s safe to mention that Matrix-star Keanu Reeves is back and in John Wick, he’s back with a vengeance.
Any of you curious to know the mystery beyond the surprise-hit of John Wick, please read on. Mind the spoilers ahead, that’s your only alert.
The story opens up at the best place to start: the end, in a scene that shows an injured man who is watching a video of his wife. In the first few moments you get to know the man, John Wick, as a lonely and quiet man who lives in his very swanky home…alone. Flashbacks take us to his last few days with his dying wife, who we later discover has left a task for her widower. That task is to take care of a puppy, and that puppy was to grow up and keep John company in her absence. Cue: the bad guys. No, he cannot catch a break. John Wick runs into the spoiled brat son of a Russian mob boss (naturally). That son (played by none other than Alfie Allen, aka Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones), doesn’t get his way so he ends up tracking down John and taking everything from him in one fell swoop. Even daddy dearest thinks he’s made a huge mistake when he realized what his own child has done. He warns his son that he has awoken The Boogeyman. He goes on to explain that said Boogeyman is an extraordinary entity whose skill is known among many, and is feared by the same lot.
…he did after all, kill three men using only a pencil.
From that point on, it’s a roller coaster ride of badassery. John Wick’s flame is lit, and doesn’t lose momentum for the duration of the film.
The action sequences were very stylized and visually appealing. The drab color scheme matched the tone of the film to a tee, and the setting was simple, a great backdrop to the action. The Continental, for instance, is a hotel made specifically for Operatives to move freely, rest and regroup, without worry of being targeted by others or any other danger, which was a neat concept…and the concierge was a hoot. The cast complimented each other, from Keanu’s silent-but-deadly demeanor, delivering one-liners every so often that were perfectly timed, to the sick and sinister mob boss, Viggo Tarasov (played by Michael Nyqvist) who also had a knack for comedic quips, to the sly but sexy Adrianne Palicki as Ms. Perkins. Not to mention, when you mix Willem Dafoe into anything, it makes it pretty spectacular.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. There were a couple of parts that would have allowed it to end appropriately, perhaps make way for a sequel in the near future but the reels kept turning and it provided for more closure than expected. Overall, it was a surprisingly good flick that keeps you on edge once the introductory bits are over, but even those were necessary and on point. This film deserves the praise it has received so far, which has seen an 80%+ on Rotten Tomatoes, which is very good in this case.
Any thrill-seeker, action-junkie will enjoy the “gun-fu”, so make sure you check out John Wick in theaters while you can!