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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Movie Review: John Wick

Have you ever quit a job and then had to go back to work things out with the old boss? In October 2014, John hadn't seen his boss in five years. Unfortunately, this wasn't going to be a friendly vist.

Directing this 101 minute action/thiller is David Letich and Chad Stahelski.

Throwing down in this one is: Keanu Reeves as John Wick, Bridget Moynahan as Helen, Alfie Allen as Iosef Tarasov, Michael Nyqvist as Viggo Tarasov, Willem Dafoe as Marcus, Adrianne Palicki as Ms. Perkins, Ian McShane as Winston, Lance Reddick as Charon, Dean Winters as Avi, Daniel Bernhardt as Kirill and David Patrick Kelly as Charlie. With appearences by Kevin Nash as Francis and Keith Jardine as Kuzma.

After the death of his wife Helen, John didn't know how to deal with the hole that was left in his life. Luckily,
Helen knew how hard John would take her loss and planned for it. One last gift of love, for her husband John... and someone had to go and take that away from him. Now John, an ex-hitman, has decided to come out of retirement for one last hit. Unfortunately, the guy John's looking for is Iosef Tarasov, the son of his former boss, the current head of the Russian crime syndicate of New York, Viggo Tarasov. Knowing how dangerous John is, Viggo puts a hit out on him in hopes to stop John before he finds Iosef. However, when you're putting a hit out on John Wick, you better be ready to pay... a lot.

Writer Derek Kolstad came up with a pretty simple plot, it's all about the revenge. It has a really touching start that gives a solid build to the character Wick and reason for the story. Unfortunately, once the fuse has been lit and things take off that's about the most charcter development we get. We get a constant reminder of how much of a badass Wick is through some back story and quickly touch on some of the bonds between him and few other people. So, once we get past the opening scene it's pretty much an adrenalin fueled action flick. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this one and really liked it, but I was a little upset after getting a tease of good character development then not getting anymore for the rest of the film for anyone else.
                                         

Now, here's a few of the things that make this one so cool. You get to see some awesome shoot outs and fight scenes thanks to Jonathan Sela as the fight coordinator. The music that Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard came up with fits the film really well and I had a hard time telling which I liked more, the film or music. The cinematography work was great thanks to Jonathan Sela.

The playthrough was well planned out and held my attention the entire time. The cast line-up is cool, and filled with powerhouse stars. Downside, a lot of the star power is just quick in's and out's. McShane, Reddick, Dafoe and Leguizamo can bring the masses to the film, but sadly, the masses won't get to see them do a whole lot. Upside, Reeves is a freak-ing-bad-ass in this film a does great as the lead charcter.

Overall, for Stahelski's directorial debut I think it's the kind of winner that's well worth any action flick fan's time and money.

4 stars


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