Geoff T’s review published on Letterboxd:
Geoff T's Todd Gaines Challenge
Favourite Movies: John Wick (2014)
I've always really liked Keanu Reeves no matter what he's in. Say what you will about his acting skills or whatever, but he's a likeable guy with a good screen presence, and John Wick proves to be great comeback for him. A brilliantly chaotic and stylized bloodbath that I found to be one of the most satisfying actioners in recent years.
John Wick is a retired and notoriously feared hitman whose wife has passed away, but a gang of unruly Russian mobsters get into his face, break into his home and steal his cherish mustang AFTER killing his pet dog (the last gift from his wife). From that point on, it all becomes a roaring rampage of revenge as Wick travels from location to location hunting down those who wronged him and casually slaughtering anyone who gets in his way. So yeah, basically if you kill Wick's dog, you're screwed.
The noir-esque atmosphere and location use (New York City) is brilliantly fitting. The martial arts fights and shootouts are directed and edited with alot of pace and style without being overdone to the point where you can barely see what's going on (unlike in alot of modern action flicks), the nightclub scene in particular easily bieng the highlight for me. Reeves carries it well (he just seems perfect for this role), as do other cast members like Willam Dafoe as Wick's mentor.
You could argue that John Wick is just style over substance. In this movie's case however, that doesn't matter to me. I found it to an exciting fast-paced ride that delivers the goods. It's slickly directed and gleaming with style, humour and adrenaline. Entertaining from beginning to end, and I eagerly await it's follow-up.
Note: Shoutout to Alex for recommending this one to me.