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Review: John Wick: Movie

John wick - Keanu Reeves 2015 Image

Whilst sitting around with the Xmarx and VIZOO crew on a Sunday afternoon we decided to throw on a movie. We had a few choses, though ended up going with the new Keanu Reeves movie – John Wick. I had my reservations as I am reluctant to watch much with Keanu these days. He had his time is the lime-light (Point break, Matrix) though of late his appearances have been less than appealing. We continued on against my wishes. I held my breathe…

Fortunately, this was all in vein. The first few scenes gave me confidence again in young, well not so young, Keanu. He held up well, brooded along nicely and played John Wick to a tee.

The movie starts out well. A slow but heart felt entry into the life of former hired gun, John Wick shows us about his more sensitive retired self. He has just lost his wife (and she was the reason why he retires in the first place) and finds himself alone. But before departing his wife buys him a puppy, to be delivered in the event of her passing. The dog is well reciprocated in John’s time of need – a last lingering attachment to his deceased partner. Some might think the interlude is a little too wimpy, though I feel it was warranted to build structure to the later parts of the movie. Also, it only last about 10 mins, so not long.

Then it gets good. After the short entree to John’s life he is put into a position which quickly escalates to the first exciting gun battle. This all stems from John Wick giving stick (hehe it rhymes) to a mob-bosses young son played by Alfie Allen otherwise known as Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones. After being embarrassed by Wick and without knowing Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) performs his own retribution on John. Not to be a spoiler, though it doesn’t end well for the dog – if you loves dogs, you might want to skip this bit. John also gets a bit roughed up, though when awakens to find they have now taken everything from him – his dog and beautiful 1969 Mustang, he decides on pay back. Funny thing one of mates chimed in with at this point was – he would have been alright if he had a Canary Home Security device along with a VIZOO visitor management solution, would have kept those buggers out … Anyway, guess you had to be there.

After some quick detective work by John, he soon makes way in tracking down his target, Iosef. He learns that he is the bosses son, John’s former boss and a once forgotten past soon becomes a new future.

The gun battles throughout the movie are well choreographed with some amazing accuracy from Wick – almost too good. The style of fighting was referred to as ‘gun-foo’ and I think title is well suited. All of the kills end with headshots, obviously on purpose, and I think this was a good addition to make his life as a hitman more believable.

The acting is well played though there were a few scenes from Reeves and Allen that could have been done better. Michael Nyqvist (Viggo Tarasov) the mob boss was played brilliantly and a couple of his lines were quick and hilarious. 

Overall the movie was thoroughly entertaining. It plays homage to a graphic novel style with text overlays from time to time and comical one-liners. The design, set creation and directing were exceptional.

John Wick stars: Keanu ReevesMichael NyqvistAlfie AllenWillem Dafoe & more.

A must watch. Best DVD I watched all week.
8 out of 10 bananas.
Available $29.99 on ebay, or $24.98 from JB*
*Prices as of time of post.

Max Shindler
Movie enthusiast, editor and copywriter for Xmarx

By Max Schindler