I have recently watched John Wick, the action movie starring Keanu Reeves. I didn’t know too much about it when I went in other than what I said in the previous sentence. I originally thought it would be more movie-actiony, but it turned out to be a series and more realistic movie. Or about as realistic as one-man army action movie protagonists can be.
Sure, if you want to sum it up, you can say that his movie is about John Wick going on a killing rampage because some jerk killed his dog. But that undermines his feelings on the entire situation. At the lowest point of his life, John Wick received one final gift from his deceased wife, the dog, and now some asshole just ups and kills it. The dog was more than just a dog, it was his grieving mechanism as well as a hold onto a normal life. Without it, he slips back into being the feared hitman.
Despite the dog not having much screentime, I think its impact can be felt through how little character interaction or dialogue is present in the first part of the film. It’s not until after John Wick returns that characters really begin to speak and action begins to happen.
As for the action scenes, at first I was thinking it would be much more over the top and bombastic, something like Shoot ‘Em Up. However, John Wick takes a more realistic approach. People don’t die in one shot, John always tries to go for the finishing headshot when possible. He also struggles a lot more when going in for hand-to-hand combat. But the action really is fast and brutal with some great scenes going on all throughout.
I would have to say my favorite part of the movie is all of the hitman background stuff, the things that they never call attention to as it’s not the goal of John, but is shown quite a lot. It makes being a hitman seem like joining an exclusive secret club. The members pay in gold coins. They can reserve dinners (read that as body cleanup). They have a their own hotel with a bar. Doctors are on call 24/7. You get to skip lines at hot clubs. It’s like the life of being a rich person, only with more killing going on.
I feel that the hitman society parts add the fun to the movie in an otherwise serious piece about a man grieving over his lost wife. And seeing how everyone treats John Wick really sets him up to be the badass he’s shown in the movie.
This is a more serious take on the action-hero scene and it is a great one. Yep. I’m thinking he’s back. Yep. That line has totally been said too many times.