John Wick Thoughts
Action movies were a commodity of the 80s and early-mid 90s. Before the whole big budget blockbuster movement, action movies were the attraction of the box office. In the recent years, action movies have become more about CGI, superheroes, and explosions. Of course movies have changed through the last couple of decades especially action films. Good action movies are now dramas with a couple of fight scenes featuring an A-Lister. Nothing wrong with that but John Wick takes things back to the basic and it’s a joy ride.
First time directors Chad Stahelski & David Leitch understand the inner workings of an action movie. It makes sense since they’ve been doing action choreography and stunt work for years. But it’s not the action choreography that makes the film work. The choreography is stellar but the two directors understand to have a complete action movie you need a serviceable story & to not go extremely over the top. Luckily there really isn’t much cheese in the film. The directors know when to joke and there is room for laughable dialogue but it’s all a part of the action trope. Not a big concern. It’s not forced down your throat. It happens time to time throughout the film.
Script wise, Stahelski & Leitch don’t waste any time getting to the goods. In the first 15 minutes we have a tragic backstory developed. Then the conversations from the supporting characters builds Wick’s badassery and as soon as the pivotal moment in the movie happens, you know it’s gonna go down and you’re absolutely excited. The groundwork has been laid and the journey has begun. Another thing to praise is Stahelski & Leitch don’t opt to go shaky camera which has plagued almost every modern action film. The way they shoot it, it’s easy to make out the action and not a tedious task to follow the events. It’s an enjoyable experience.
Lastly, action movies aren’t known for their acting. Stallone & Schwarzenegger ruled the 80s and 90s but were never known for their acting skills. Stahelski & Leitch made sure to deliver a cast of talent. Everyone is great from major parts to cameos. I won’t spoil the cameos but I’ll comment on some of the major players. Michael Nyqvist’s transition to American cinema hasn’t been great. He starred as the bad guy in Mission Impossible 4 and as great as the movie was, his villain was one of the bigger problems in the movie. Just a crazy generic one dimensional bad guy. It was disappointing. That’s not a problem in John Wick, he’s great in his role and is a formidable villain to the hero. Nyqvist doesn’t play this character as a crazy psychopath, he’s psychotic but grounded in reality. Didn’t see any problems with the performance. It was also great to see Alfie Allen of Game of Thrones fame on the big screen. Game of Thrones has some of the best actors on television and to see them on the big screen is always a joy. Alfie’s character is very similar to his Game of Thrones counterpart, maybe a bit more despicable. A lot of the other roles are very small but there wasn’t a weak performance from anyone. Also be on the lookout for 2 Wire alumnus. The real star of the show is Keanu Reeves. He’s another actor who’s never been lauded for his acting ability but I’ve always felt Keanu had strong potential and it seems Stahelski & Leitch felt the same way because he’s perfect as John Wick. Action heroes can tend to be dull but you’re cheering for John since the beginning and I’m glad it was Keanu. Great comeback movie for Keanu.
Would I Recommend?
In conclusion, John Wick is a great movie. It’s not an oscar contender, it’s not a deep film and it won’t change your life but it accomplishes it’s goal. It entertains. You’re going to have a good time. You’re getting good performances especially a memorable one from Keanu Reeves. It has its tropes but isn’t a stupid film. It plays to its strengths and not to insult the audience. Do I recommend John Wick? Of course I do, that is if you’re an action fan. If you abhor violence this movie is definitely not for you but if you don’t, you should see this as soon as it’s available on video.