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Is John Wick the comeback to leading man form Keanu Reeves has been searching for? The star of several 90’s classics such as Speed and 2000’s Matrix franchise, Reeves, unfortunately hasn’t starred in anything of real note since. His recent directional feature film, Man of Tai Chi, was the victim of poor critical reviews and flopped.
Reeves plays the titular character here, a dangerous man capable of anything for he is a man with nothing to lose as a result of losing everything worth living for. You see, John Wick is a former hit man who wanted out to spend time with an ill wife. But when a random and callous event takes place, Wick turns back to the profession he left behind in search of those who have taken everything away from him.
It was an unexpected hit at cinemas, courtesy of strong word-of-mouth among audiences and a noticeable amount of surprisingly positive reviews from critics. It’s easy to understand John Wick’s success and likability with audiences after watching this merciless action/thriller. The matter-of-fact, stop-at-nothing attitude on display throughout John Wick lends the film a no-nonsense, full-throttle charge to the finish line that is energizing to watch.
Directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have wisely maintained a fast pace telling of a far too familiar and predictable screenplay. And why John Wick is a good movie, not a great one is largely due to two very weakening elements – the lack of genuine suspense throughout and the acting. It has every opportunity to find and reach suspension levels obtained in more superior, similarly-structured films A Walk Among The Tombstones, Run All Night or even Drive, yet wherever an opportunity presents itself, an all-too-predictable cliché is chosen. A shame, for the atmospheric music score was begging for more from a screenplay written as safe as a horse in its stable.
As for the acting, what a mess it too often is. No one comes to John Wick expecting Oscar-nominations to follow, but you shouldn’t be waiting for the Raspberry Awards announcements either. Michael Nyqvist who plays the main villain Viggo, GOT’s Alfie Allen his son Iosef and Adrianne Palicki as Ms Perkins all the most guilty of some woeful acting. The terrible dialogue doesn’t help their cause greatly either. As for Keanu, he has his hiccups too, but finds his feet in some testing conditions throughout John Wick.
My criticisms won’t worry too many of you reading this so if action movies that don’t stuff around and quickly lose count of the body count sounds appealing, then grab John Wick and get set for a rollicking good time.
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