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Keanu Reeves is the first big action star for us kids born in the late 90s. You had your Arnold’s, you had your Seagal’s, you even had your Willis’. The “Matrix” changed all that, as we finally had Neo to satisfy our action hero needs. For Reeves it’s been a very hit a miss career ever since, that’s including the second and third Matrix films. Well, Keanu fans, don’t fret, because 2014’s “John Wick” is the action film you’ve been waiting for. Now that I have finally seen the film, and not just heard the good things about it, I’m on board for the sequel that’s coming out early next year.
“John Wick” follows the story of John Wick (Reeves). He has recently lost his wife, Helen (Bridget Moynahan), and after her death he receives a puppy, Daisy, that she sent to him to help him cope. The two bond quickly and one day at a gas station, three Russian mobsters ask to buy Wick’s car, to which he refuses. Unfortunately, the mobsters follow Wick home, beat him down, kill the puppy and steal his car. The mobsters have no idea what they’re about to unleash, as Wick, the Russian mobs (former) best assassin, is about to go on a revenge fueled retribution spree.
This film is a return to form for the former top tier action star Reeves, as everything in this action-thriller works. The setting of New York City is used quite well as decapitated buildings and extravagant hotels are torn asunder as Wick fights to find who killed his dog. He’s also surviving the multi-million dollar hit that was placed on him too. The darker tones and shadow filled places and characters add great depth to the film. This is further enhanced by the melodic soundtrack which sounded awesome. This is more than just your typical action film as well, as Keanu, Michael Nyqvist (Viggo), Ian McShane (Winston) show the depths of this almost mythical and unbelievable crime syndicate. Finally, the action is what anchors “John Wick.” Second unit directors and stunt coordinators from “The Matrix” trilogy are used in this and it’s clear they can still put on a damn good show. The fight scenes are quick, fluid and look brutal. Not to mention there’s a ton of them, so you’re not sitting around waiting for the action to flare back up. Each punch seems like it’s breaking bone and every shot to the head from Wick is greatly satisfying.
“John Wick” is one of those films that sinks its teeth into you and never lets go until the credits roll. We get a lot character depth out of a lot of the main characters, most notably John Wick. This is an action thriller that’s deeper than just, “man blindly rampages to satisfy his need for revenge.” The look and feel of the film are astounding, while the action and score are brutal, fluid and electric. Man, I really wish I’d watched “John Wick” much sooner.