Keanu Reeves headlines a pretty commendable ensemble of actors who are seen visibly having fun in an interesting universe detailed with terrific action albeit via a less than terrific narrative.
Make no mistake about it, John Wick knows what breed of film it is: simple with a large side of fun. Don’t look for good acting because there is none. Don’t look for an enthralling narrative because there isn’t one. But what you will find instead is a refreshing collection of action set pieces that highlight brilliant choreography and stunt work.
Reeves is perfectly serviceable as a retired assassin forced into a typical but well done revenge arc following the invasion of his home and the burning of his wife’s memory.
But what allows the character of John Wick to go to that next level is how other characters react to him. Even before we’ve seen him take to action, slit throats and deliver bullets mob bosses are running scared, old friends are making courtesy calls and those in the line of fire are filling their trousers – in short, John Wick is a badass.
The Cosmopolitan, run by the always-serviceable Ian McShane, adds another universal layer to what would have been a well shot but simple action movie. It is this idea of world building and engagement that makes John Wick time well spent.
John Wick is a Neanderthal induced well-shot foray into Keanu Reeve’s return to being a genuine star. What it lacks in detail and narrative it makes up for with steady shots, detailed action and immersive worlds.
Score – B