Wednesday, October 29, 2014

John Wick

Let's take a short movie quiz.  Which item in this group does not belong with the others:

A) Keanu Reeves
B) a film about an retired assassin coming out of retirement
C) tons of cheesy Russian mobsters
D) a Rottentomatoes critics rating of 86%
The answer to anyone who's been watching movies in the last 20 years is clearly D.  No Keanu Reeves action flick ever earns that high a critics rating.

Yet John Wick is all of the above.  Stylish and built to work well with Reeves' almost total inability to display subtle emotions, the film is a velocity exercise that uses a hook-and-backfill structure to engage us early and then wastes little time in moving its main story forward.  The supporting cast members, notably Michael Nyqvist as the Russian mob boss, have fun with their roles and deliver generally good performances.  Though every bit as unrealistic as you'd expect, the fighting and gun-play scenes manage to feel more authentic than most, largely through Wick's habit of making sure to shoot each bad guy in the head before moving on to the next one.

The trailer gives you the setup for the story, but in this film the ride through the plot is all the fun, so I won't tell you any more about it.  If you're in the mood for a good action film with great pacing, I heartily recommend John Wick.  It won't teach you any important life lessons or challenge you in any way, but it will deliver a good time. 

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