November 05, 2014

John Wick (2014)

John Wick (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: David Leitch / Chad Stahelski
Country: USA

Movie Review: Keanu Reeves returns to action thrillers in “John Wick”, after the superfluous “47 Ronin” and “The Man of Tai Chi” have failed to brighten his career. The film, directed by debutants David Leitch and Chad Stahelski (both regular stunt coordinators), and written by Derek Kolstad, is nothing but a tale of revenge that uses the same old approach as many others do. The story is not new, focusing on the title character, a retired hitman who grieves the death of his wife and is targeted by Iosef (Alfie Allen), the immature, disdainful son of the Russian mob’s header, Viggo (Michael Nyqvist). Iosef makes the mistake of steal Wick’s priceless 69’ Mustang and kill his puppy, a special gift from his wife. Viggo still tries to minimize the conflict, but Wick was already determined, setting up his revenge furiously and meticulously. I can’t deny that “John Wick” is formulaic in many aspects, stretching itself in massive killings and repetitive karate strikes, but it presented other positive factors that were important for my evaluation. Among them we have coherence and clarity in the screenwriting, some favorable twists, and a commendable passion applying the old formulas. The presences of other professional assassins, such as Marcus (Willem Dafoe) or Mrs. Perkins (Adrianne Palicki), and how they position themselves in regard to the conflict, were fundamental to prevent that Wick became weak. I also found this urban ‘Rambo’ adventure slightly more interesting than other action-packed flicks such as “The Equalizer” or the dark “The Rover”, where in a similar way, a car is stolen, triggering a ruthless vengeance.

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