Monday, December 1, 2014

John Wick

John Wick – 101min – R

A tried and true formula of a revenge picture. This movie delivers exactly what it says on the tin. When you are looking for a popcorn munching, mind checking at the door, fasten your seatbelt kind of a film here is what you are looking for. This movie jumps us directly into the story and doesn’t give us a moment's rest, nor do we want one in this green light film.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) seems like a normal guy who has been through the loss of his wife. A young Russian punk, Isoef (Alfie Allen), likes his car so he tries to buy it. John refuses and inadvertently insults the young man. The punk sneaks into John’s house and steals his car and kills his dog. John’s other life now rises from the ashes of the attack and he is like the Angel of Death bringing down the wrath of God onto his transgressors.

John has to get back in contact with his old acquaintances to exact revenge on Isoef. He makes contact with Winston (Ian McShane) who runs a hotel that is like a neutral ground where hired killers are safe from the dangers of their job. From the safety of the hotel he starts to take apart the Russian mob.

The Mob sends gangs of guys to take John down. They even going so far as hiring Marcus (Willem Dafoe), a sniper, and John's friend.

Keanu Reeves gets a bad rap about his acting, but I think a performer who knows what his range is and stays with it is a wonderful thing. He knows how to do action well. The fight scenes look really tight and his gun work is outstanding.

The director Chad Stahelski and Co director (David Leitch) both have a long resumes in the film industry but as their first go in the driver’s seat. I think they shows tremendous promise. He knows what buttons to hit to get the audience behind the absolute hell John rains down on the Tarasov family. John Leguizamo has a very short but memorable scene as the owner of the local chop shop. He is the set up for the best line in the film “oh.” Best Line Ever. You'll have to see it to appreciate it.

Derek Kolstad wrote the screenplay and it was tight. I think they missed a few opportunities for some really memorable lines. An opportunity was when Viggo was beating John up he should have tried to make an offer to pay him for the transgressions made by his son. After finding out the true depths of the wrongs done to John he should have then made the choice to kill him.

The next missed opportunity comes when John is standing on the hood of the car and facing down Viggo. John should have said in Russian “The bogeyman is here for your feckless child.” He has been referenced as the monster who takes bad kids twice before in the movie. They should have brought it full circle and owned it.

The last one is when Viggo is beating Marcus up. Viggo tells him “If you had done your job my son might still be alive” without missing a beat Marcus should have said “If you were doing your job as a father, your son wouldn’t have caused this in the first place.”{Spit blood on Viggo’s shoe}

I know these are very nitpicky but their absence doesn’t take away from the film in any way. It’s still a very solid action film. I want to thank @GabnDad for suggesting it.

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