Monday, October 27, 2014

John Wick - 3 stars

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired assassin.  He settled down and got married.  As the story begins, his wife has just died.  Before she checked out, she got him a puppy as a gift.  Now that puppy is all he has left in the world.  Well, that and his car.  When Russian mobsters (isn’t it always Russian mobsters?) steal his car and kill his dog, he’s going to get revenge. 

This movie was a lot of fun.  There’s a ton of shooting and bloodshed, and it’s all done with a great visual style.  Keanu Reeves plays this type of character really well.  He doesn’t have to emote much, just grunt and look pissed off. 

There were so many things to like in this movie.  There’s the crew that comes in to clean up the bodies after a shootout.  There’s the way he has a stash of gold coins, and that’s what he uses to pay everyone.  There’s the hotel where gangsters and criminals go to socialize.  The hotel is like a fraternity, and one of the rules is no business is to be conducted on hotel property.  Ian McShane has a couple of nice scenes as Winston, the enforcer at the hotel.

But my favorite scene is the one where Viggo Tarasov (the head of the Russian mobsters) finds out it’s John Wick who’s after his son – his son Iosef is the one who killed John’s dog.

I know I’m sometimes hard on movies if they aren’t original.  This is definitely a story I’ve seen before.  If it was made in the 70s, it would star Charles Bronson or Clint Eastwood.  But this movie was so stylish and fun, and it had such a good sense of humor about itself, that I didn’t mind how predictable it was.  And I wouldn’t mind at all if they made a sequel.

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