Thursday, May 14, 2015

Movie Review - John Wick

John Wick (2014)
Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, and Bridget Moynahan
Directed by Chad Stahelski

"Keanu Reeves is back!" raved some of the overwhelmingly positive reviews for John Wick upon its release in the fall of 2014.  The story of the title character who seeks revenge on a group of Russian mobsters who kill his newly received beagle -- a gift from his recently deceased wife (Bridget Moynahan) -- John Wick is a series of (admittedly cool) violent fights with the tiniest strand of flimsy story to tie them together.

Reeves seemingly speaks less than one hundred words as a retired hit man called back into duty when the members of a stereotypical Russian mob family pick on him for some reason and to say that the actor "is back" in top form based off this performance is outrageous hyperbole.  Yes, he works well enough in the choreographed fight scenes and he tries his best to engage the audience in his vengeful acts, but there's very little for the actor to latch onto.

The odd thing is that there's some weird sense of potential in screenwriter Derek Kolstad's script with hints of interesting elements.  For example, when Wick heads back into the realm of being a hit man, he sleeps at a hotel that caters to people of his type, keeping their residents' secrets and providing them with the necessary instruments to carry out their assignments.  This is just one of the unique elements present, but very little is done to expand upon them, making me wonder if there was an awful lot left on the cutting room floor...or perhaps it was all oddly surface on the scripted page.

Nevertheless, the incessant fight scenes grow tiresome a little less than halfway through and makes the film's final fifty minutes a slog to watch.

The RyMickey Rating:  D+


  1. I don't know what to tell you...all the fuss that surrounded this one in terms of positive reviews and multiple recommendations to me...and I didn't like it much at all.