Directed by Chad Stahleski and David Leitch, starring; Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki. An Ex-Hitman is forced out of retirement when a group of gangsters invade his house and take everything from him.
There has been numerous films of this genre, the highly skilled Hitman or Mercenary forced to become active again in his field of work due to suffering a bereavement from a group of men, or required to solve one last problem. ‘The Expendables’ and Liam Nesson appear to be most prominent in this genre, however despite being similar in narrative ‘John Wick‘ is far superior and this is why.
Despite being 51 years old, Keanu Reeves looks anything but coming out of retirement, as despite being 51 he looks ten years younger or more than he should. This Results in benefiting the film greatly as he is instantly more believable, his capability to execute these moves and have the skills required to perform some of the more impressive action sequences. ‘John Wick‘ is fitted for Keanu Reeves who has had somewhat of a dry spell for a number of years, with films that have failed to obtain critical acclaim, ‘John Wick‘ will surely reboot his career.
‘John Wick‘ is firstly an utterly stylish film, set in a gothic landscape, with beautiful cars and exquisite suits he is very easy to connect to and so you feel compelled to empathize with his character. The script stands out in its genre because it is not filled with overused lines or forced jokes, but to the point language that is more impacting and more cleverly delivered. The music is particularly well used, with a recurrence of the song ‘Killing Strangers‘ by Marilyn Manson, something I am particularly partial to with the lyrics resonating with the narrative. The fighting sequences, in particular, are outstanding with inspiration one cannot help feel coming from the “Bourne’ films.
John Wick as a character is really cleverly developed, we only know two things about him which are established early on, but without any spoilers the focus is more on how others react to him and in turn how we as an audience view him which is outstanding.
Although a sequel has been confirmed to begin filming very soon, one cannot help but feel tentative towards this. While it cannot be refuted how good ‘John Wick’ is, it is the simple, yet powerful plot and deliverance that can only work once without turning into what ‘Taken’ became.
OVERALL ***** I found this to be an exhilarating film, full perfectly executed action and a strong script despite this not being the most original plot on the surface. The style, music, and cast really made this film standout against the wave of Ex-Hitman forced out of retirement films, so much so that it reigns supreme over them, hopefully this will not change with a sequel.
RECOMMENDATION – If you are a fan of Keanu Reeves then this is for you, a fan of action and style then this is also for you.