DVD Review: John Wick
On the surface John Wick is a revenge film, pure and simple. The kind of revenge film that says start at point A and proceed to point B, killing everyone who gets in your way. John Wick really is that simple. But there is a controlled simplicity to the film as well, something that is not often found in action films these days.
We’re introduced to John Wick as a man who is on deaths door, with a bleeding stomach wound life doesn’t seem to have much more to offer this poor retched soul. But in what seems to be his last action, he takes out his cell phone and starts to watch a video of him and his wife in happier times. Then we jump back in time, we see how happy he was, and how an illness took his wife. We see the funeral, and days later we see his wife’s parting gift delivered, a puppy to help John mourn.
But then only days later the son of a Russian Mob Boss, breaks into John’s house with his crew to steal John’s car, and in the process kills the puppy, taking John’s last link to his humanity.
John Wick you see wasn’t always the happy husband, no way. She was an assassin, the best in the business. A formidable force that never failed. The kind of man you never, ever, want to piss off.
What follows is a tour de force of action and body count, with humour thrown in for good measure. But rather than a burly muscly guy tearing it up with machine guns in each hand and a never ending belt of bullets, John Wick is more like an elegant ballet.
When the Russian Mob Boss decides that the only way out of his son’s predicament is to go on the offensive, the 12 man hit squad sent to John’s house is dispatched by Wick with a controlled precision that sees most of his foes taken out with head shots.
It’s the sheer beauty of the controlled violence that makes John Wick stand out, and elevates it above the general hubris of other action films, and whilst is may be a bit of a slow burner for action fans, it’s still worth watching to see Keanu Reeves elevate himself back to top form.
Rating: R16 Graphic violence and offensive language.