A fast, furious and relentless ride, it uses the stripped-down story to good effect. Enhanced by Chad Stahelski’s energetic direction, those looking for excitement should find much to enjoy.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired hitman recovering from his wife’s recent death and finding solace with their cherished dog. When his canine companion is killed by thugs related to vicious Russian gangster, Viggo (Michael Nygvist), a deadly chain-reaction is ignited. Tearing the streets in a swathe of bloody vengeance, Wick swiftly moves with lethal force against those daring to cross him.
Although not a great actor, Keanu Reeves equips himself admirably in John Wick. Reeves’ acting parameters may be limited but he has chosen a role effectively utilising his range. You feel his character’s rage at his foes and the despair at the loss of his wife. Using his wits and heavy artillery, his mind is his most powerful weapon. Staheslki wisely builds up Wick’s reputation amongst his adversaries fearing his retribution.
Action is what everyone wants and John Wick delivers. Each punch and gun play is amazingly shot without being too gratuitously grisly. Sequences logically flow with ease as the tension and dead bodies increase. The shadowy world of assassins in which Wick thrives adds an intriguing layer and something which could be further built upon. This sinister universe is effectively captured by the cinematography evoking New York’s mean streets.
John Wick is one of the few movies where you hope a sequel is made. There are plenty of avenues the character could go down with this stylish entry proving the art of war can be deadly in the hands of any gifted soldier.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7