John Wick – Movie Review
John Wick – R
Release Date: Fri 24 Oct 2014
John Wick, at times, displays some interesting concepts and novel ideas in a movie that is otherwise completely built on revenge tropes. For every interesting idea (a hotel for criminals that works as neutral ground) there are three action scenes that feel like the same fight in a slightly different location. Keanu Reeves (John Wick) cannot convince me that his blank stares and non-responsiveness is part of his character. An early scene with Willem Dafoe as his friend from his hitman days falls flat with Dafoe doing the best he can with nothing in return from Reeves.
The action is wonderfully choreographed and slickly shot with a fantastic soundtrack. Unfortunately, after the first 45-minutes or so it becomes rote and we just have to wait for the next plot beat that will inevitably lead to still more action scenes. Hand-to-hand, knives and guns are thrown in to switch things up. After a while the stakes disappear and we end up with a third act that feels like either the most cliched way out or an aborted idea for a sequel tacked on to give us a final showdown. In the rain. The outcome of which has already been revealed in the opening scene.
It’s all style and very little substance. It has little to recommend it but as dumb action movies go, it has been done way worse. With A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Equalizer fresh in mind, this movie falls into a distant third for me.
Cal, Jeremiah and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion afterward in the car: