John Wick (2014)

johnwick_2014_poster
John Wick (2014)
  • Time: 101 min
  • Genre: Action | Thriller
  • Directors: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
  • Cast: Keanu Reeves, Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, John Leguizamo

Storyline:

John Wick is a mob hit man who upon falling in love with a woman would quit. 5 years later, his wife dies and to make sure he’s not alone she arranges for a dog to be brought to him after her death. Later some men wanting his car break in and beat him up and kill his dog. When he recovers, he sets to get the ones who killed his dog. He learns that the leader is the son of his former employer. And the man wanting to protect his son, tries to take care of Wick but he’s still as good as he was.

8 reviews

  • Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) is a petulant punk used to getting what he wants. Understandable, given that his father Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) is a powerful gang boss. So Iosef thinks nothing of breaking into a man’s house, beating him senseless and killing his dog to possess a classic 1969 black Mustang. The problem is Iosef has messed with the wrong man. When Viggo learns the victim is John Wick (Keanu Reeves), all he can offer is a docile, dread-tinged “Oh.”

    Oh indeed. John Wick is a former assassin – not just any assassin but the assassin that all other assassins fear. The very mention of his name flatlines the systems of his opponents, so Viggo ushers his son into hiding, puts out a contract on Wick’s head, and hunkers down for the worst. What follows is a propulsive, sleek and thoroughly satisfying revenge actioner as Wick doggedly hunts down his target.

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  • This movie truly feel like returning back in time, but with today’s technology and style. It had a mix of Commando for the “one man army” set-up but without the one liners and corny style. Keanu Reeves/John Wick definitely succeed at being both a bad-ass character, but somebody that you truly feel for.

    I was reading other reviews and one point that stand out also to me is even tough the movie is fast to start, there ain’t too much build up, you still care a lot for that man. When the dog is kill, despite the short time he spent with it, i still felt his pain and grief. The guy had nothing left beside a dog and a car, and they took it from him.

    So yeah this movie is just pure old school greatness, like you don’t see many these days. There is even a small role for Bloodsport’s Daniel Bernhardt which was also in The Matrix Reloaded, and there first fight is extremely satisfying.

    The movie include lots of gunfights, a fair amount of hand to hand combat, some car chases scene, and pretty much everything you expect from an action movie, its really a great time.

  • Mark Avery

    When a film is boasting an ex stuntman as first time director, a plot you could write on a postage stamp and Keanu Reeves playing the lead. All this while being produced by a desperate housewife, you’d be right in thinking that this is gonna stink, and stink it most certainly does, in fact it comes up stinking of roses. Like a fine wine this will get better with age, repeated viewings? You better believe it.

    Meet Reeves’ John Wick, everybody’s heard of him, and knows he’s not to be fucked with. Well almost everybody. Mr Wick is having a pretty shitty time to be fair and to make matters worse, some evil doers have eyes for his car and decide to take it….violently, big mistake, huge. I don’t need to explain any more as I’m sure you can guess the rest.

    Wick spends its entire run time living in the shadows, revealing a secret underworld which operates with its own gold coin currency where even assassins can check into a safe haven hotel which acts as a kill free zone, complete with in-house doctors. The world you and I live in never even features. Similar to ‘Blade’, in fact this could have come straight out of a comic book. Even Wick himself is hailed as the bogeyman, the talk of legend. It’s as if Keyser Soze has made a comeback, only this time the usual suspects will be dispatched exquisitely with a bullet to the head. In fact Reeves literally wades through countless enemies like a possessed gamer on Call of Duty, with a headshot achievement and the end of each level.

    First time director Chad Stahelski, Keanu’s Matrix stunt double, keeps things surprisingly slick and never forgets to keep the films tongue lodged firmly in its cheek. It’s influences are easy to spot too, most notably Asian cinema, especially John Woo’s ‘The Killer’. It also reminded me of any number of westerns, especially when you look at the character of Wick himself. The soundtrack also deserves a mention which services the action scenes perfectly.

    This movie took me back to a time when I didn’t care for plot, visuals, character development or performances, a time when I was a kid, a time when all I craved was mindless bloody violence. That time was the 80’s. Where’s John Wick been hiding, in a time capsule?

    If you’re looking for a piece of mindless, popcorn chewing violent entertainment, then look no further than John ‘headshot’ Wick.

    A thoroughly enjoyable, bloodthirsty romp. 8/10

  • At first, “John Wick” seems to be an outdated action movie. But then while watching it, it seems to be a never seen before action thriller. Without going much into the story line, I would like to emphasize on the movie’s fresh look.

    Every rule that was used or created for a gangster or retired gangster movie (Especially, “Carlito’s way”) has been renewed in this movie. The story line is simple on the paper but when it comes to writing screenplay for this movie, every old run must be broken and be redefined. And then the execution must have a lot of improvisations.

    Be it the entry of the protagonist, relationship with his murdered wife and the dog, the ending, everything is shown less than what we have already seen enough in previous films. The main focus has been put on the action part and everything else is shown as implicit part of action.

    The cause of the revenge is totally funny at times but has a fresh and serious look on the other side.

    This movie has a lot in common with “The Equalizer”. Both feature a former highly skilled assassin who has retired to live in quiet solitude but who is compelled to use his deadly skills again when a Russian mobster commits a despicable act of violence. Denzel Washington is generally considered the better actor and brings a sense of gravitas to his role. However, Keanu Reeves brings more a sense of melancholy and reluctance to his role, which was sadly lacking in “The Equalizer”.

    Without Keanu, the movie would not even be justified. His screen presence makes the movie more than watchable. The screenplay and direction are brilliant. The music is loud at times but suits the theme of the movie.

    I would give 8.5 out of 10.

  • John Wick 6/10: In the 90’s and early 2000’s, any action movie with Keanu Reeves was a must–see movie for all. In the past eight years or so, Keanu Reeves practically went off the map and no one knew if he was still acting anymore. Then, he suddenly decides to pick up where he left off and return to action. “Everyone’s been asking me if I’m back, yeah I’m thinking I’m back- John Wick.” With the plot of John Wick somewhat laughably mimicking the career of Keanu Reeves, we cannot help but enjoy the thrilling ride of seeing a solid action film.

    I do not usually give the plot of the film but I feel it is appropriate for this one. John Wick, a once great hit man, comes out of retirement from his peaceful quiet life to track down the men who took everything he had, showing he has not lost his touch at what he does. With the exception of trying to enact revenge on people who wrecked his life, that plot sounds a lot like Keanu Reeves’s career. That is why I thought he was perfect for the role and why the role was perfect for him.

    I would have given this movie a higher rating if it was not for the fact that I have seen this type of movie many times before. In fact, John Wick reminded me a lot of a movie I saw a month ago called The Equalizer which has an extreme number of similarities with John Wick.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/john-wick.html

  • Movie Name : John Wick
    Rating : Good 3/5
    Genre : Action / Thriller
    One thing I noted while watching John Wick was its simple story told with fascinating execution and commendable action scenes, and that is the beauty of this film which was over-stretched in the climax but was saved by outstanding script.
    John Wick is an ex-hit-man who comes out of his retirement in search of a mafia’s son who was responsible for killing his dog, the last gift sent by his late wife.
    First time directors, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch did pretty well in shaping the movie to be a blunt and taut revenge action-packed thriller. The movie takes sometime to build on but when it does , there is no turning back. Each scene is beautifully depicted with rocking background score and applauding dialogues. It gives an holistic view of gangland and rules they live in and high respect for each other. Icing on the cake is the well-choreographed action scenes which has been executed brilliantly with graphic bloodshed looking like a PC game. Script is tight and will keep you engaged. The flip-side is unnecessary inclusion of climax scenes which could be easily be edited. Keanue Reeves is back in form and I loved him after long time especially post Matrix series. He does well in dialogues delivery and will be appreciated for his acting.
    Overall, a kick-ass action which will pump up your adrenalin. Good 3/5

  • “John will come for you and you will do nothing, because you can’t do nothing.”

    Do you hate complicated films where your brains hurt while trying to keep up with the story ? Do you start to drool spontaneously when watching endless violent action scenes ? You answered twice “Yes Sir” ? Well, then “John Wick” is cut out for you. Because the story is simple in a way that even your goldfish can follow it easily and it it contains a concatenation of rough,cruel liquidations. I never thought that stealing a Ford Mustang and wringing the neck of a puppy could result in a never-seen, raging revenge. John Wick, however, thought otherwise. This retired former hitman leaves a bloody trail in New York, after they steal his car and kill his dog, donated by his deceased wife. The fact that this is committed by the son of his former boss, who’s from the Russian mob, doesn’t impress him. Instantly he demolishes his basement floor. Years ago, he buried his whole arsenal of weapons and other adult toys there, just to forget his past and change gear in his new life.

    Digging up Keanu Reeves again, certainly wasn’t a bad idea. The man has a natural talent for portraying an icy cool killer. His emotionless visage is perfect for the role. And the less dialogs in a film, the better. It’s not the dialogues, he has to struggle through, that gives him the appearance of a cold-blooded assassin, but his stoic calmness and the expressionless gaze does. He demonstrated this already in “The Matrix” and also in “47 Ronin” (wrongly considered by many as a pulp film). If you want to keep track of the number of victims, you should purchase a large oversize abacus.

    I enjoy a straightforward action film, with not to much frills and where the emphasis lies on mindless brawling and shooting. It shouldn’t be serious all the time. Although after a while I felt kind of impassive about it and sank deeper into my cozy seat to watch it with such an infinite look. I compared it with a ride on a wildly popular, matchless rollercoaster. During your first ride, you feel the adrenaline rushing through your body and you rush back to the entrance full of enthusiasm just to experience that indescribable feeling once again. During the tenth drive you’re sitting in it very relaxed, looking around in search for the next challenge. That’s “John Wick” in a nutshell. A flashy rollercoaster ride that starts fiery and impressive, but as the journey takes longer, the euphoria fades away slowly.

    In terms of genre, it’s ultimately of the same level as “The Equalizer”. Only the latter contained a bit more story, I thought. In “John Wick” you have a stolen car and a dead dog on the one hand, and on the other hand an increasing number of corpses. That’s it. And yet it’s pure enjoyment witnessing the flashy action and shown coolness. Chad Stahelski, a former stuntman (interesting fact: he was the one who played Neo in “The Matrix” during dangerous scenes), doesn’t beat around the bush and creates a series of precisely choreographed fight sequences. Without much effort he succeeds in giving Reeves the reputation of a bogeyman. But as Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) remarks it himself: “John is not exactly “The Bogeyman”. He’s the one you sent to kill the fuckin ‘Boogeyman.”. And this top assassin moves in a swirling way to eliminate his enemies with a well-aimed shot. His shooting technique is slightly off-track and looks somewhat forced. But that doesn’t keep him from transforming the place where he appears, into an outright shooting gallery.

    There were some pretty surreal scenes which impressed the imagination. Like the “Continental” hotel, the professional cleaning team and the reputation of John Wick in itself and his cult status hovering around him as an aura. “The Continental Hotel” could serve as a scenic design in a future Batman movie, which bathes in a real cartoonish atmosphere. It’s a famous meeting point for notorious assassins, with its own monetary system, an unnaturally friendly desk clerk that meets with all the needs of the guests and a resident physician who can be called for when guests return reasonable damaged after taking care of their “business”. There is only one golden rule which is mercilessly punished after being violated. It’s prohibited to arrange matters in the hotel itself.

    For most of the supporting acts you can safely say that there’s a total lack of character development. Most are no more than a shadow in this film, who come momentarily into view and then they’re mercilessly being slaughtered. But it seems as if they are suffering from anemia, because despite the continuous aggression, there is very little blood splattered around. So only Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen (Iosef) and Willem Dafoe remain. Michael Nyqvist wasn’t very convincing as Viggo and was at the times too theatrical. Alfie Allen played the well-known roll as the conceited, imagining-himself-being-untouchable son of a criminal who as he starts to realize what predator is hunting him, needs a larger size Pampers. Not that very original. And Willem Dafoe tries, but gets little screenplay to play himself into the spotlight. So Reeves is the only one to steal the show. And he does that with panache and style. Once he slips into that measured black suit and swings a duffel bag full of toys for adults in it, over his shoulder, he walks confidently towards you while the camera zooms in. And then you can brace yourself. Magnificent.

    “John Wick” isn’t exactly of a high level in cinematic terms but does meet the requirements of the targeted audience. A pure action movie full of spectacle. Unfortunately, there are rumors that the sequel “John Wick” is planned already. I admire Reeves that he’s still capable to portray a character as Wick at his age of 50. He can take that kind of personage to a next level, but I’m afraid that this sequel will be a weak carbon copy from the original.

    http://opinion-as-a-moviefreak.blogspot.be/2015/02/john-wick-2014.html

  • Liam Neeson has a special set of skills and now it appears that Keanu “whoa” Reeves has them too. So OK, picture this: guy loses wife to illness, guy gets dog as a present from dying wife, guy then gets beautiful Mustang stolen by Russian mobsters who beat said dog to death, guy who was once a professional killer, goes into vengeance mode by offing tons of paperweight Russkie heavies, and finally, guy gets visited by police officer (at his home) who asks him if he’s working again, huh? That guy is John Wick of the movie John Wick and he’s played by none other than thespian in hiding, Reeves. “Wick” clocks in as the fourth revenge/hitman thriller to venture into theaters circa 2014. It lacks the startling epiphany of August’s The November Man and the high caliber of acting from a certain Denzel Washington in The Equalizer. However, it’s much more focused and assured than the totally discombobulated 3 Days to Kill (the weakest of the four).

    For the most part, John Wick is a silly, ludicrous picture that doesn’t really add anything new or reinvent the wheel via the revenge thriller genre. Its look is mirrorball glitter and glitz and its style is reminiscent of a Hong Kong action extravaganza (but with less “Kong” and tons of “ganza”). This is a vehicle where Keanu’s Wick dispatches so many bad guys you lose count within the first half hour. He does it with some impressive martial arts (much more polished and realistic than what he did in The Matrix) and guns that suggest laser tag, video game artistry, and Men In Black (I wasn’t the only critic who picked up on this). As you watch John Wick, you don’t condemn it, but you wonder how it didn’t somehow land in the straight-to-DVD category. Basically, the whole point with this October release is that the filmmakers throw in scene after scene of non-stop death and destruction. It’s to distract you from realizing how generic and tepid it is.

    So OK, here are some things I pondered while viewing this bad boy with an undernourished 101 minute running time: 1. why doesn’t anybody in this movie bother to wear a bulletproof vest? I mean Wick shoots a lot of his enemies in the chest. This might bring down the body count a little. 2. why does the antagonist (in this case, Viggo Tarasov played by Michael Nyqvist) not shoot the protagonist when he’s defenseless and without weapon? You know he’s gonna eventually get ya in the end if you let him live. Jeez! 3. do the lives of 50+ people have to end just because a dog died? I mean, I know the dog was Wick’s last gift that reminded him of his dead wife but come on! He knew Daisy (dog’s name) for one or two sequences, that’s it. And yet, just about everyone that wasn’t involved in Daisy’s passing gets the death incarnate treatment. In general, I can’t help but thinking that John Wick is trying to be a parody of your everyday vindictive, revenge fare. When Wick says the Russian gangsters took everything from him, I guess he left out the fact that he still has his beautiful home, expensive, tailor made suits, and plenty of discretionary wealth.

    In conclusion, this thing is mildly mediocre but I found the lead role of a former, humblized contract killer to be a nice fit for Keanu Reeves. He’s one of those actors that is better off saying the bare minimum of dialogue in order to get through a movie. His job here is to look cool, act cool, and basically exude a brooding screen presence. In his 42nd feature film, he pulls it off with veritable aplomb.

    During the second half of John Wick, Keanu’s title character says quote unquote, “people keep asking if I’m back, yeah I’m thinking I’m back.” Not entirely Mr. cool breeze. But nice try though. You’re getting there.

    Of note: in terms of John Wick’s stylistic voyeurism, look for a dance club scene where Reeves gets his kill-on Tom Cruise style (a la 2004’s Collateral). Also, look for various subtitles in “Wick” that seem akin to the ones used in Tony Scott’s Man on Fire (also from 2004). In the realm of casting, be on the lookout for three high profile actors who’s roles are underdeveloped (with most of their scenes probably left on the cutting room floor). John Leguizamo plays a chop shop owner, Willem Dafoe plays a fellow hitman and friend of Wick’s character, and Bridget Moynahan plays Wick’s character’s wife. Oh and watch for the goofy guy from the Allstate commercials (Dean Winters, you know Mr. Mayhem) in a small role as the main villain’s fruitful lackey.

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

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