John Wick – The Likable Hitman

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john wick_fightIt’s official, Keanu Reeves is back.  He hasn’t been necessarily M.I.A, but it has been a while since I last saw him in a decent film. As an action film enthusiast, I’m happy to say that “John Wick” does not disappoint. The film is packed with great action sequences and an awesome soundtrack.

The premise of the film is very simple: “some thugs kill John’s puppy, John kills them all.” Honestly, I didn’t expect the film to be that good and I’m glad that I was proven wrong. If you ask me, does the story make sense? No, but it’s not supposed to. As a spectator I just want to be entertained and “John Wick” delivers in that department.

Some people say that Keanu Reeves cannot act, I have another take on this subject. Now that I’ve seen the “final product” I believe he was the perfect casting choice. Just take a closer look at the character: who is John Wick? He’s a “retired” hit man and a new widow living a relatively quiet life. Having said that, who are we looking for?

  • Someone that can play a professional killer and still have the audience rooting for him. Whether people like Keanu as an actor or not, he has that likeability factor working for him.
  • He can’t be the stereotypical tough guy/badass like Denzel Washington… The “don’t mess with me” aura cannot be too evident. The man needs to look like someone who could get his ass kicked once in a while.
  • The actor playing John needs to physically fit for the part, because he is going to kill a lot of thugs in the film.

Therefore, Keanu is the man for the job. Do not forget: he has Matrix under his belt. That really helps to cement his reputation in this genre: lead basically gets his ass kicked and then starts kicking some ass.

If someone kills your pet, are you really going to take down an entire gangster empire just to get some closure? Maybe not, but once again “John Wick” is not about coherence. It’s about being transported into an alternative reality and watching someone on a quest for revenge — entertainment at its best. John is unapologetic, he was done wrong and now someone needs to pay.

The film has a relatively “modest” budget compared to today’s Hollywood standards. However, that hasn’t affected its quality — good things come in small packages. The action sequences are amazing because they look very realistic. Finally, someone is bringing things back to basics! Keanu performed most of his stunts, which is not bad at all for a man of his age. I guess in his case, the 50s are the new 30s. Respect!

The parallel universe portrayed in “John Wick” is just too cool. The “Continental” is such a brilliant business idea. Just think about: a hotel that only caters to assassins? What a fine example of creative thinking… One thing is for sure, here everybody knows who John is, his reputation really precedes him. Every organization needs a set of rules to function and The Continental is no exception. The place works like any other hotel. However, there’s one golden rule: “businesses” can’t be conducted at the hotel.

There wasn’t a single dull moment in the film. When the credits started to roll, I felt myself wanting more and this how I know I watched some good stuff. It’s probably too soon to say this, but I really hope they make a sequel out of it.

For more technical details about the film, click here.

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