Thursday, October 16, 2014

John Wick (2014)

Directors: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad

Composers: Tyler Bates, Joel J. Richard

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Willem Dafoe, Bridget Regan, Jason Isaacs, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, David Patrick Kelly

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Revenge is all he has left

Plot: An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

"Who is this guy, the boogeyman?"
"No.  He's the guy you call to kill the boogeyman."

I just got back from seeing an early screening of this and holy shit is it fun!  I'm not much of a fan of Reeves.  There's very little he's done that I liked.  This is the Keanu Reeves movie for people who don't like Keanu Reeves.  Really.  He doesn't have an awful lot of dialogue (a big plus) but that's almost immaterial because he's really good in this.  The script is tight and the direction is lean.  The first fifteen minutes of setup is all you need.  It perfectly illustrates where John (Reeves) is at and why it's so important that he does what he does.  Once he's been wronged!  One of the beautiful things about this picture is the film makers take their sweet lovin' time in filling in any of John's former life.  I'm not going to spoil a fucking thing because fans of revenge flicks are going to fucking love this.

The cast is magnificent.  Ian Mc"fuckin'"Shane, bitches!  He's got far too little screen time but he fucking owns what he has.  Willem Dafoe owns every scene he's in.  Love that guy.  Jason Isaacs?  Where the shit bricks was he?  He's on my love list, too.  Adrianne Palicki was all kinds of fun as...well, you just have to see.  David Patrick Kelly...super fucking cool burgers, Man!  John Leguizamo plays a cat that helps set up the mystique of John Wick early on.  That dickless guy from GAME OF THRONES, Alfie Allen, plays a part that you're going to love to hate.  Michael Nyqvist plays Dickless' father and he fucking OWNS!!!  He's in all three of the THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO flicks that came out of Sweden and now I've got no damn excuse.  I must see these movies and soon.  And then there's Keanu Reeves.  He's fantastic.  I must repeat that he's an Oprah's buttload of fun here and this is coming from a cat that doesn't really care for the guy.  Now I do.  He's a lean, mean killing machine.

And that brings me to the action.  Wick is efficient as the day is long when it comes to killin' folks.  I would love to shake the hands of the folks that made this because they avoided that frenetic editing in the action scenes (and there's a metric shit ton of action in this movie) and they let the audience's eyes focus on what the fuck is going on.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Now, this isn't 1970s let's hold the camera on the action until somebody fucks up shot length but it's a lot more than what nearly all modern films will give you.  And for that, I thank them.  This movie is refreshing in so many ways. Funny? You bet your sweet Uncle Petunia's ass!  The humor is dark and there's just enough of it sprinkled throughout that you know the film makers know what they're doing and they're having a blast doing it.  It's never eye-rolling-inducing or over the top.  It's just enough that it'll instantly have you fully on their side.  It's like a delicious meal that has JUST enough seasoning that it enhances rather than overpowers the taste.  What's even more impressive is that it's the first time for these two kids in the director's chair and the third go around for writer Kolstad. 

The bottom line is, this movie is a blast for guys like me.  I like a good revenge flick and these kids have cranked out a fun one.  I'm so glad I got to see a sneak preview of this as it's not something that I would have likely bought a ticket for strictly for the reason that it starred Keanu Reeves.  I love it when I'm proven wrong for things like this.  I encourage you to check this out. 

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