John Wick Gets MAD
JOHN WICK: There was a brief internet firestorm when the first trailer for this appeared, partly because it looked like an awesome action movie, but also because it seemed to be slightly mocking the genre. When a fierce Keanu Reeves growls that the bad guys are going to pay because they killed the dog his dying wife left him, well, it's hard to take that completely seriously. But pay they do in this ferocious and fun action movie. Wick is a retired hitman who, by sheer bad fortune and concidence, is targeted by some Russian mobsters who want to steal his cool car. The aforementioned dog croaks and Wick decides to seek vengeance. Turns out Wick knew these bad boys in his past life and suddenly things get complicated. But boy, does he GET vengeance. The body count in this movie has to be pushing triple digits, with assorted Russian goons shot, stabbed, hurled off high places, run down and otherwise dispatched. It is a non-stop orgy of well choreographed violence... over a dog.
The action is extremely well done and Reeves is excellent as Wick. Morally though, I'm a little dubious about a story that celebrates a sociopath lunatic wasting dozens of mob soldiers who had NOTHING to do with his doggie's demise. (Remember: he's avenging a dog.) I'm also in awe of the fantasy city where a guy can go on a massive, city-wide murder spree without drawing the slightest police attention. Imagine the tumult that would occur on real life news channels if 89+ people were violently murdered in one night by a single shooter/stabber/nut-kicker/neck-twister. Also, it appears that the video tracking systems that have become a staple of television cop shows (24, Criminal Minds, etc.) have been totally dismantled in John Wick's world, since evidently not a single one of his murders is captured on surveillance. But -- so what. Any movie where the best line is "oh" followed by a dropped telephone works for me!