It’s no secret that I love assassin stories and revenge tales. John Wick is both and this pure-as-high-octane-vodka action film hits the mark, uncomplicated by twisted narrative and driven by single-minded purpose.
Keanu’s John Wick is a man whose mere name conjures a breath-held mix of reverence and fear in even the biggest bads of the criminal underworld. Retired, inoperative–Wick’s a legend, the kind of guy mercs and drug lords are relieved is out of the picture. Then suddenly, he’s not–not out of the picture, and in a big, scary way. I won’t spoil what little plot there is but Wick, like a perfectly-constructed pew-pew machine, greases those cogs and gears, reactivates his programming, dons a snazzy suit, arms himself and stalks out into the world to loose a red arrow of violence through all resistance until it finds his mark.
What sells me most is the film’s style–brutal, clean and surgically accurate action–NO shaky cam. Plus music and lighting that get under the skin like a bruise. And (yes! thank you!) an assassin who doesn’t take chances–double-taps and fast, undramatic kills, calcuated pew-pew and how he takes out these four dudes in a lightning-strike, cray-cray mix of close-quarters combat (krav maga and notes of kung-fu) and well-timed shots and POP-POP precision kills and he like travels light enough he’s super-agile and how gloriously gently-aged Keanu I mean John Wick can look over a room and size it up and know the kill order like he’s a frickin’ computer or something then that scene with the one guy and the wall and pewpew and a pocketful of wire and WHAT, they actually know about the proper tools to use with cleaning because wetworks are called wetworks for a reason and it’s almost like they read the mortuary science journals that I have to read for work and OMG! THAT BADASS FTW CAR-JUMP THING and how Keanu uses micro-expressions in that warehouse scene with the Main Big Bad Dude and how he gives away so much of himself with no words and it’s SO GOOD and holy crap that mono y mono thing there when all the mini-bosses are out of the way and it’s just the boss fight and HOLY CRAP THAT ENDING and (mild spoiler) DOGGIE and YES HOLYHELL YASSSS.
I give this movie a lot of stars out of several. Good stuff.