Tuesday, 19 April 2016

John Wick - Dir. Chad Stahleski & David Leitch

A thoroughly juvenile action bore that’s sole aim is to be described as “awesome” and “cool” as Keanu Reeves kills an undefined number of de facto bad guys. There’s a complete disinterest in story and characters that ultimately denotes the occasionally distinctive visuals as completely pointless.

When a young gangster brutally kills his dog, a final gift from his now deceased wife, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) sets out to get his revenge. That’s a decent enough premise and the early minutes used to establish this are the film’s best; however as an ancient proverb (probably) said, a good premise does not a good film make. There is no story beyond this point, just a number of increasingly tedious action sequences.

The key to all fight sequences is to hide the fact that it has been meticulously choreographed beforehand, to create the illusion that the fight could go either way, even though the outcome has already been determined. The sequences in John Wick are somewhat innovative, but I’ve never been more aware that I was watching a choreographed sequence. Goons wait patiently to attack Wick one at a time and take him on at his own game. As Marcus (Willem Defoe) demonstrates, John Wick could easily have been killed by a well placed sniper but villain Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) persists with the same ill-advised strategies; this is especially idiotic given that he constantly chastises his underlings for not knowing who John Wick is.

Those questions are also partly directed at us, the viewer. That’s John Wick. Who’s John Wick? This is meant to big him up as some sort of (for want of a less uncouth phrase) “badass motherfucker” and build up the anticipation for when he unleashes his specific set of skills, but that doesn’t work because we don’t know who John Wick is and the filmmakers don’t seem bothered enough to give us an answer. We’re not meant to be interested in John Wick, we’re only meant to be interested in how he kills people, which isn’t very interesting at all.

John Wick is available on Blu Ray, DVD and VOD now.


  1. Keanu Reeves is pretty awesome. I need to do his life story on Whit's Blog. He's such a great actor and has had a very rough life.

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