Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Screenplay by: Derek Kolstad
Release Date: October 24, 2014
I didn’t know whether or not I wanted to watch this one, truthfully. I knew it starred Keanu Reeves, who is one of my favorites (and I’m not quite sure why, so don’t ask), and I knew it was like an action flick. But that’s about it. But since I’m a movie lover and an action flick junkie, I said “why not?”
Plot: John is mourning the loss of his wife, who he loved very much. One day, he stops to put gas in his car when a bunch of obnoxious guys pull up at the pump next to him. They’re checking out his car because 1) they’re guys and 2) it was a really nice ride. One of them approaches John, asks some questions about the car (typical guy-like questions: “what year?” and … some engine mumbo jumbo), and offers to buy the car. Of course, the car isn’t for sale and John tells him that. The guy gets all offended and mouths off, in which John mouths back, and that ticks off Gas Station guy because “no one talks to me like that.” This starts off a chain of events and, well, as you can imagine it’s not at all what they guy expected. Gas station guy ends up breaking into John’s house with his gang of “tough guys,” banged him up pretty good including knocking him unconscious, killed his dog, and steal his car. The fun begins when the Gas Station gang tries to take the car into a chop shop. The chop shop owner immediately asks where they got the car from and then basically tells them to “get that [*bleeping*] car” out of his shop. He even slaps the kid across the face. And now you know for sure John’s an interesting person.
It’s your typical “do you even know who you’re messing with?” plot line, but I like it. Seriously, bad guys don’t ever seem to ask questions. I mean, Gas Station gang pulls up speaking Russian. They’re all speaking Russian. Gas Station idiot talks to John in English, but when their conversation turns heated, John replies in Russian. And none of them, none of them, thought it weird? I know I’d be like, “Ok, who is this guy? He was listening to us, understood us enough to reply in Russian.” And maybe it’s just me, but a warning flag would start waving. Despite the usual plot line, dialogue and delivery is what made this a pretty good movie in my book. Action sequences weren’t that bad either.
Acting was pretty good too. Of course, you have Keanu Reeves as John Wick. And I don’t know about that tagline on the picture “Best since Matrix” because I thought Reeves did a pretty good job in 47 Ronin. Michael Nyqvist playing the opposition, Russian mobster Viggo Tarasov. Gas station guy, Iosef Tarasov who is Viggo’s son, was played by Alfie Allen and first thing that popped into my mind was “Hey, Game of Thrones guy. Not bad landing the role.” Allen’s has a smallish role, but it was good to see him on the big screen. I’m not a huge GoT fan, yet, but I’ve seen a few episodes that he was in and I like seeing a TV actor upgrade every now and then. And John Leguizamo is Aurelio, Mr. Chop Shop guy. Smallish role as well, but he’s in one of my favorite scenes.
Viggo (Nyqvist), phone call to Aurelio: “Aurelio, I heard you struck my son.”
Aurelio: “Yes, sir I did.”
Viggo: “May I ask why?”
Aurelio: “Because he stole John Wick’s car and killed his […] dog.”
Viggo: “Oh.” *hangs up phone*
Because when a Russian mobster can only say “oh” to a chop shop guy slapping his son, you know chop shop guy was well within reason to do so, which only makes you wonder who in the world is John Wick? So awesome. You also had other big stars like William Dafoe (Marcus) and Ian McShane (Winston). It was a pretty good cast and they did an awesome job.
Action scenes are your typical shoot ’em up, slash ’em, blow things up sequences. Done well and stayed true to the typical action genre. Camera shots and sequences didn’t take away or distract from the movie and while they didn’t really enhance the movie, I don’t think that was the point. It was meant to be a straight shot and that’s what we got. No need to be super fancy if you’ve got a pretty good plot and lots of action.
If you’re one to shy away from violence, then I’d skip this movie. If you’re one to shy away from vulgarity, then, yeah, stay away from this movie as well. If you love action, don’t mind blood, and can auto-correct the swearing to *bleeps* in your mind than I’d check this movie out. All in all, I probably would watch this movie again, on Netflix or something. I didn’t find it interesting enough to add to my collection, but I did enjoy the movie. I’d probably buy it if it was on special or something.
Photo credits: themoviedb.org