I went last night to see John Wick, and contrary to what I’d expected, I ended up having a lot of fun. Obviously, since Keanu is one of the actors I’m most fond of, I was prepared to turn a blind eye in case the movie sucked. It didn’t and I’ll tell you briefly why.First reason and most important: It had dogs in it. And any picture with dogs in it, it’s worth it. Now joke aside, John Wick doesn’t make any promises, it doesn’t keep: you go to the cinema expecting an action flick…one is served cold, like a good vengeance, which happens to be also the theme of the movie. John Wick unleashes a killing spree after some Russian Mafia guys kill his dog, the last connection John has with his beloved late wife.
Keanu Reeves is back to his old tricks, being cool while being shot at or fighting the villains, and he does it with poise and determination, like in the old days. God, how I missed his coolness. Keanu may not be a master of acting, but he has his share of charisma and that je ne sais quoi that makes him irresistible. To his aid came, of course, first time director Chad Stahelski, who I understand used to be Keanu Reeves’ stuntman in Constantine, and who enriched the rather simple script by balancing the fighting sequences and the narrative without dragging one or the other. The minimal dialogue fit the story perfectly, it even was witty at some point. No one spoke more than they had to, and that gave the whole picture the sensation of a comic book inspired production. I only later found out it’s not the case. But it has that appeal, you know?
It has great actors in supporting roles: John Leguizamo appears in too short of a sequence, as a car service owner. Michael Nyqvist (the original Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) as the Russian mafioso Viggo Tarasov who is caught up between his survival instinct and the love for his son. Big time mention for William Dafoe and Ian McShane who is absolute perfection as the shady business related hotel owner.
John Wick has good potential (and enough box office success) of becoming a film series like Taken. And that’s not a bad thing. Not bad at all.