JOHN WICK is the directorial debut of two veteran stuntmen DAVID LEITCH and CHAD STAHELSKI, who worked on everything from ‘The Expendables’ films to the ‘Bourne’ franchise and most importantly ‘The Matrix’. 15 years after ‘The Matrix’ they once again team-up with leading man KEANU REEVES for this ‘assassin on a revenge killings spree’ action thriller. With these two at the helm, the action scenes are almost guaranteed to be ridiculously entertaining. The stunts are handled by the directors very own stunt team, 87eleven Action Design. And they DO NOT disappoint.
The plot is pretty straight forward: a grieving retired assassin goes on a revenge rampage after a few thugs decided to steal his car and murder his dog (not knowing who ‘John Wick’ really was). Not just ANY DOG. This dog was the last gift from his deceased wife.
You sure as HELL do not want to mess with a pissed off KEANU REEVES with a particular set of skills: BREAKING YOUR NECK and SHOOTING YOUR BRAINS OUT.
Reeves haven’t looked this good on-screen since ‘The Matrix’. The guy is in his 50s, but he still commands the screen with his stoic cold-blooded performance while performing 90% of his own stunts. The film is ACTION-PACKED with every scene kinetically filmed to perfection as ‘Wick’ takes out the baddies with his ‘gun-fu’ skills, something that’s not seen since 2002’s underrated action flick EQUILIBRIUM starring Christian Bale. But the difference between ‘John Wick’ and ‘Equilibrium’ is that Wick is focused on shoot-to-kill. No fancy movements/poses. He is out to KILL YOU, as QUICK AS HE CAN.
The movie also features an awesome supporting cast including WILLIAM DEFOE, MICHAEL NYQVIST, JOHN LEGUIZAMO, IAN MCSHANE, and a pair of assassins who gives ‘John Wick’ a run for his money played by DANIEL BERNHARDT (The Matrix: Reloaded) and ADRIANNE PALICKI (G.I. Joe: Retaliation).
Wick’s encounter with Mrs.Perkins (Palicki) is a hard-hitting scene showcasing a nice display of jiu jitsu grappling skills. Same goes with his face-off with Kirill (Bernhardt). Fans of the martial arts genre may recognize Bernhardt from his work on the straight-to-video sequels to ‘Bloodsport’ and the ‘Mortal Kombat: Conquest’ TV series.
‘John Wick’ is a HIGHLY ENTERTAINING action-flick that at times, does not take itself TOO seriously. There is quite a few comedic moments that helps balance out the intense action scenes.
I can definitely see this as a potential new franchise for Reeves. ‘John Wick’ is BACK in the game and I’m crossing my fingers that he will continue to play a few more rounds.