John Wick gets us into the underworld that exists beneath society where legendary hitman John Wick made a deal with mafia and escaped to a happy life with his lovely wife. But young Russian punk liked John’s near-flawless 1969 Mustang and decided that he can take it from him with the final gift of his wife. Of cause this little freak has no idea whom he has wronged and just accidentally put himself in the way of Wick’s odyssey of vengeance.
Movie has a pleasantly surprising comic book-style but with the old tough-guy archetype as a lead. Character lives in a world of special currency, coded language, cleaning company and even a boutique assassin hotel.
From the simple script of a newcomer writer Derek Kolstad, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski made a remarkably satisfying directorial debut with good shooting, perfect action sequences, close combat fights and a good deal of decor destruction. They both came from a stunt background of major-budget films like 300 and The Matrix so this is a good chance for them to have everything under control and just enjoy filming process working with mates and doing what they do best – filming a real action movie with a thrill well-choreographed sequences.
From the first look you can say: “Hey, this is a perfect role for Jason Statham!”, but you will be wrong as Keanu Reeves gives his best performance in years, completely fits the role, and with jiu-jitsu fight style is almost hilariously efficient as a whirlwind of death and destruction. The film isn’t set in the real world that allows Keanu moves smoothly through an environment full of adversaries, shooting, stabbing or otherwise immobilizing them one at a time. For Reeves this is another big win and iconic character on his resume.
John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Dean Winters, Ian McShane and Willem Dafoe all bring authenticity to various underworld players, but Michael Nyqvist stands out and delivers a quirky performance as a Russian mob boss. Some of you will be glad to see Daniel Bernhardt (Bloodsport, Mortal Kombat) as a main henchman that will bring a lot of troubles to John.
Film earns more franchise potential than many other properties hoping to build empires and tell a story of John life before this events. John Wick is a badass, stylish piece of genre filmmaking so go see it.