Keanu Reeves may not be the best actor but when it comes to action movies, but he is without a doubt a legend. He puts himself through the paces and performs many of his own stunts. And when a camera is able to pull back and let the action unfold without any interference (e.g. close up camera shots, constant shaking) it’s highly noticeable and always makes for better action sequences. I think Hollywood forgot that audiences like to actually see what’s happening on screen (as opposed to just blurs and loud noises) so it’s nice when film makers come along who are aware that this “style” of shooting is garbage. Wide enough shots to see the action, but not so far that it looks like a stunt double. With John Wick they definitely succeeded in crafting awe inspiring action sequences that leave you knowing that Keanu did them and that they turned out excellent.
This is the second film released this year that has been directed by former stuntmen (the first being Left Behind – and all I can say about that is do not under any circumstances watch Left Behind. I think it may in fact cause a loss of brain cells). With John Wick it is about the action, but there is also time allotted for smart and humorous dialogue that makes even the villains likeable. There are long shots making for some truly awesome action scenes that made me giggle at how wonderful they really were. It’s been said that this is Keanu’s best film since The Matrix and I have to agree completely. He’s been a bit AWOL the past few years, but like riding a bicycle he carries the movie without a hitch, like a leading man should. He knows how to take on the physical aspects of an action star, but another of his noticeable and noteworthy features is the dramatic weight he brings to this characters. He has never shown anger and sadness in such a powerful way; you can tell he put everything into this role and the payoff is immense. This is an action movie you always hope to see and all around everyone did what they had to do to make this one of the best action films since The Raid 2.
John Wick is retired but his reputation lives on in the world of hired assassins. When he is wronged at the worst moment of his life John is forced to send some payback in return. Widely known as “The Boogeyman” Wick is not someone to mess with, but with a lot of new blood in this underworld they believe his reputation is hot air. What they quickly learn is it isn’t; he is as scarily efficient and deadly as his legend says. He is not one to wait and his revenge is swift, brutal and plentiful. As the body count rises it becomes apparent they stand no chance against Wick’s wave of anger (and bullets) that is washing over them. He knows his destination, nothing will stand in his way and God help anyone caught in his cross-hair.
This is the action event of the year and it shouldn’t be missed. This is Keanu back in top form and with a wonderful script he is able to shine as bright as ever. I can’t fail to mention a great supporting cast that brings this to another level. Willem Dafoe is as charismatic as ever. Michael Nyqvist isn’t the most foreboding bad guy but with his quick wit and commanding stature he is a lot of fun to watch. Adrianne Palicki is beautiful, yes, but she also brings her own toughness to go up against Keanu and she certainly holds her ground. It knows what kind of film it is, wastes no time getting to the main storyline and doesn’t let up until the credits roll. It is a tight 100 minute run time which means no excess or unnecessary scenes that would have undoubtedly made for a bloated movie. It is slim and trim, fast and visceral. In short, John Wick is a fantastic time at the movies.
Rated R For: strong and bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Run Time: 101 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, Michael Nyqvist
Directed By: David Leitch & Chad Stahelski
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 4.5 Nerdskulls
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