Kinotherapy’s review published on Letterboxd:
So I finally saw John Wick after five years, and I think I could've lived the rest of my life without ever having to see it. Mainstream films like this usually don't interest me, however, I also want to keep an open mind and eventually I get to them, but often so late. I just saw Solo a couple months ago, (not great) and even The Last Jedi and Infinity War I didn't see until long after their release date. Don't get me wrong I really do enjoy more casual films, not just with my family but as a sense of levity from my often thick art films. Don't believe me, I recently did a 5 star review of Police Story and I greatly enjoyed Spider-man into the Spider-verse. I'm not against conventional, fun, movies, I'm just not always interested in commercial films like that and John Wick is a good example as to why.
I know a lot of people loved this, but I found John Wick a very mediocre and formulaic action movie. Nothing blew me away in this film, the story is as cookie cutter an action film as you can get. It's so bland you could have replaced Keanu Reeves with Bruce Willis and this would been another one of his Dad-core movies he shits out. Every character is just a plot device. You know exactly who's going to do what and what's going to happen. The only thing I thought was good, were the action scenes, which aren't amazing, but there still well choreographed, with impressive stunt-work, which I believe Keanu did himself. Still I wouldn't say they were quite on par with something like Police Story or The Raid. I read one reviewer saying that they don't sink to the level of shaky cam, which makes it great. I... don't know. I hate shaky cam as much as the next guy, but just because a film doesn't sink to the low standards that have been burdened with these films for years doesn't automatically make it great. "The Last Airbender" didn't have shaky cam, were those action scenes great? And no I'm not comparing John Wick with The Last Airbender, I was just trying to make a point. Plus even though I don't care for John Wick, it's far better!
I thought the film had some potential to be different, like with the dog. I actually liked that idea, it's silly, and could've alleviated the film to make it not so serious. I'll admit too there's some decent world-building with the seedy underworld of the gangsters. I was excited to see Willem Dafoe in this, but he wasn't given much to do. Aside from the action, every good element that could have been there was just hinted at and never given it's true chance to shine. From what I've gathered from the trailers the sequels look as if they'd have more personality, while this is a movie I've seen before many times! If you like this movie, I'm happy for you, but this did nothing to impress me, and I probably won't be re-watching it anytime soon.