How many times do you screen a film and sit there afterwards thinking, “WOAH?!?!”
I see 100-150 films a year and honestly, it doesn’t happen as much as I would like it to. That isn’t the case with John Wick. You actually sit there as the credits are rolling and go, WOAH.
The thing that really sets this film apart from other hit man sagas is that you so identify with John (played extremely well by the PERFECT fit Mr. Keanu Reeves) that you not only empathize with his plight, you feel his hopelessness and his sadness in such a profound way that it takes you a few minutes after the film is over to find the energy to stand.
The film’s basic premise is a retired hit man who was the Russian mafia’s sharpest assassin and has found something so, so much more than he deserves in his beloved wife. He has walked away and found a life so much greater than the one he lived. The trouble is, he was so great at what he did that there are all these forces that seem to be conspiring to bring him back into that life no matter how hard he has tried to run from it.
The idiot savant son of his former boss does something so unspeakable at that absolute worst possible time, that while you’re screening it you find yourself in sync and saying the lines that are playing out even though you’ve not seen the film before. And no, this is NOT because the film is predictable, but because you see the chaos and fury that is coming and know that there isn’t a person alive powerful enough to stop it.
I have to say, I’m VERY proud of the performance Keanu put forth and pray there is a part two or that we see him in more films like this. When he is given brilliant material, we get to marvel at and enjoy his brilliance. It’s been there all this time and thankfully John Wick has a solid enough screenplay to showcase his performance in such an enjoyable way, that this film beckons for a second or even third screening.
John Wick is NOT your typical hit man/action fodder at all. In fact, it’s such a powerfully constructed enigmatic film, that you find yourself talking about it days later and reminding yourself that there’s nothing in the film, no scene, no characters that didn’t leave their mark on such a powder keg of a movie.
Even John Leguizamo, who’s in the film for all of ten minutes, gives such a strong performance in that short frame that you finding yourself wishing he were on the screen much longer. Not to mention a solid supporting stint from Willem Dafoe that leaves you wanting so much more and yet you’re oh so grateful for all he has put into his character Marcus already.
The film also has an excellent soundtrack that adds to the film’s mettle in such a way that it’s actually another actor and deserves SAG credits. It’s so critical and so well laid out and every song queues the next scene so extremely well, you find yourself floating along from scene to scene because of it!
An absolute MUST SEE.
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Copyright © 2014 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, The Swirl World Podcast™, All rights reserved. Photo of Joyll Cambridge used with permission. Photo of Keanu Reeves from the movie John Wick obtained from this source.