This is the type of action film I've been waiting a long time for. It's filled to the brim with no nonsense tough guys (and gals) who's actions speak louder than words. And by action I'm just not talking about the film's amazing scenes of gun-fu! No sir. Let me just say that looks can kill in JOHN WICK. One of my favorite scenes is when the Russian crime boss is told that his son stole John Wick's car. The expression (acting) on his face is priceless. Without a single word of exposition you realize this guys son just messed up, messed up big time.
I love the world building that is in JOHN WICK. It feels very much like a comic book or graphic novel. It's very tongue-in-cheek but the film plays it straight. I like how there is a lavish hotel that assassins go to, and while staying at the Continental they honor a code of no violence.
That's right. John Wick is a hitman. A retired hitman seeking vengeance on the punks who stole his car and killed his dog. John's dog was a gift from his terminally ill wife. She bought it for him in hopes to ease the grievance of her passing. It did. Until some punks killed it because John wouldn't sell his car to them.
To make matters worse John finds out that the punk responsible is the son of his former boss. Russian mob boss Viggo Tarasov. Viggo tries to reason with Wick but there's nothing he can say or do, John Wick the Bogeyman is coming for vengeance. Yeah, this guy is so bad ass that they gave him the nickname, The Bogeyman!
The nickname fits seeing that John Wick is pretty much the Jason Voorhees of assassin hitmen. Just replace the signature machete with a gun. Lots of guns.
JOHN WICK is the directorial debut of David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. These guys have a extensive background in assistant directing and stunt coordinating. Mr. Stahelski happened to be Keanu Reeves stun double in all three Matrix films.
Hopefully JOHN WICK does well enough at the box office that way we can see more action films from Leitch and Stahelski.
The screenplay was really good too. I wonder if Derek Kolstad is a big fan of Richard Stark novels? Or a Lee Marvin fan?
My only complaint of the film is that it was shot digitally. Trust me, you can tell. It stuck out like a sore thumb, especially after seeing NIGHTCRAWER which was without a doubt shot on film. I was nervous at first but once the action and story kicked into high gear it didn't bother me. The important thing is that the story made me forget about it. I only bring up this complaint because digital can look cheep if the filmmakers don't know what they are doing.
Final thoughts. JOHN WICK is an action film made for action movie fans. So if that's you then I recommend this film to the highest degree!