Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see John Wick prior to its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself
Retired hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced to go back into business after the death of his wife. Wick’s motivation to pick up his old job again is revenge. When the son of a Russian mob lord, who used to be John’s boss, takes everything from him, including his car and the life of the dog given to him by his late wife, this former hitman is determined to show he’s still got it. Wick has just one goal, and that is to kill the young mob prince, no matter what, because this time it’s personal.
Keanu Reeves returns to the action genre as a bad-ass cold blooded killer, a role that suits him well due to his physical ability to perform stunts and martial arts – and fire weapons at the same time, just like in The Matrix-days.
Although John Wick may be the movie’s sole lead character, Reeves managed to assemble quite an interesting cast around him. Willem Dafoe is fantastic as always, Adrianne Palicki delivers a memorable performace, and it’s up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Michael Nyqvist and Alfie Allen from Game of Thrones to play the baddies. Nyqvist plays the role of the Russian kingpin Viggo, while Allen is a nasty villain as Viggo’s arrogant son Losef Tarasolv.
John Wick features amazing action sequences, brutal deaths and a rather peculiar sense of comedy within the contract killing underworld, where they even have a hotel with nightclub included as a neutral zone for all the hitmen to enjoy. Yet in spite of all this goodness, the movie lacks a proper plot. The story is just too plain and predictable, think of a mix between ‘Hobo with a shotgun’ and Mel Gibson’s ‘Pay Back’, with nearly no character development and tons of bullets going everywhere.
If you like action films, and you don’t really care about deep storylines, then John Wick is guaranteed to be 90 minutes of terrific fun for you. However, be warned that this film hardly will be remembered as one of Keanu’s best, for the simple reason that the plot is too unoriginal.
John Wick opens in cinemas 30 October 2014