As Kaleida’s ‘Think’ plays in the background of a spa club, Keanu Reeves has his hand over the mouth of a bodyguard, looking deeply into his eyes as he guts him. Take that scene and you’ve pretty much summed up the exciting masterpiece that is John Wick.
John Wick is an assassin that wants revenge, but not for the reasons you may think, he wants revenge because Russian gangsters killed his dog and stole his car. The dog was a present from his late wife and it symbolises hope for him, when they killed the dog they took that hope from him. The film itself isn’t very long but in the time span we’re given, Keanu proves he still has it at 50 as he barrels into a group of men with all the vigour of a 20 year old man. In fact, John is so scary that he isn’t the boogeyman he’s ‘the man you send to kill the boogeyman’.
The scenery and setting of the nightclub scene is perhaps the best scene from the film, racking up an impressive 50+ kill count, the fluorescent club lighting illuminates the flashes of electrifying violence as bullets ricochet into skin. What is particularly interesting about the fighting is that it is realistic, a lot of action films these days often have scenes involving ludicrous fight scenes where the lead character should have broken his back in the first 5 minutes. John Wick incorporates Aikido, Judo and Ju-jitsu to counter attack opponents. Even Adrianne Palicki’s small-framed Ms. Perkins uses her body weight to attack John.
Fast-forward to the end and the kill count is 200+, the final fight between John and Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), alongside the pounding rain is reminiscent of the dénouement in the new version of The Equalizer. It borrows the same sort of themes with the Russian hit men and the revenge kick that both of these characters go on. As John steps up to kill a character, the sound of his footsteps are all that can be heard symbolising that he is a force of nature not to be messed with, almost like an angel of death. With an exhilarating soundtrack and a fast paced turn of events, John Wick pleasantly surprises, it is definitely the best ‘revenge’ action film since Taken and I was stylistically and aesthetically delighted. But don’t take my word for it, a sequel has just been announced and a trilogy is being set up. Speaks for itself.