WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!
So I finally got Netflix again after a three-year hiatus. Why have I not used it for three years, asks all the pissed off and shocked Netflix faithful? Honestly…I chose Crunchyroll over Netflix. I prefer anime. So when I’ve only had time for one over the other, what was the point of paying a monthly fee for a service I might used once or twice a month? But now I’ve had the chance to put some extra time in, so I got a free monthly trial in and I started watching shows and one film so far that I missed the boat on, that of course being John Wick.
When the movie first came out in theaters, I will fully admit that I couldn’t have cared less about it. I was beyond done with Keanu Reeves, so another action movie with him in it really didn’t grab my attention at all. But between then and now, I’ve heard only good things about the first film from all my friends, so I’ve been really wanting to check it out.
And boy was I surprised just how much mindless fun it was.
John Wick unlike most films these days, it doesn’t try to rely on a twist and turn filled story to get you involved in it. The movie makes no buts about it where it’s going. He’s an ex-hitman who used to be connected to the mob and when that mob boss’ son steals his car AND KILLS HIS DOG, he decides that the correct response is to kill the entire mob. I think the entire world would agree with that assessment. You killed a man’s dog, everyone who’s ever known you should probably die for that.
From then on out, the movie goes into an endless parade of action sequences that doesn’t go too over-the-top in the way that movies featuring legends such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li will go into, rather Reeves spends most of these sequences methodically putting bullets to heads, there’s only a handful of times where it gets into real hand-to-hand combat. Granted, are there a few moments that shouldn’t be possible? Of course, but then it wouldn’t be a mindless fun action movie, would it? The film just doesn’t go so over the top that the other action scenes have to follow it, every scene is just as good, just as fun and just as well shot, there isn’t a moment in the film where it feels like a bit of a lull.
The addition of the only other actor I know in Willem Dafoe (John Leguizamo doesn’t really count, he’s in it for about a minute in a minor role) is a fantastic addition, though I will admit I was a bit disappointed by the lack of insane Willem Dafoe. He plays the old assassin friend role relatively well and does a great job of playing both sides during the course of the movie. The villains are all okay at best, none of them really shine, the son is a idiot piece of shit, the femme fatale is well…the femme fatale. The end boss in the Russian mob boss, he tries to play a dangerous man, but at times he comes off more like a bit of a loof and not really as threatening as you’d like him to be.
And that’s what really takes away from the film in the end, all the villains go down in a not as epic way as I would’ve liked, especially the one who kills the dog, he should’ve had a much longer death than one in the leg and one in the head. Even the end boss, after that entire journey of bullets in brains, his death is so non-eventful, it’s extremely disappointing. For a film all about revenge and epic kill sequences, why were the most important deaths seemingly given the least amount of time and importance?
In the end though, I still absolutely adored this film. It’s a ridiculous action film, but without the overly ridiculous set pieces. The plot is so stupid, it’s funny and it sets you up perfectly for what ends up being a constant enjoyment filled with blood spatters and holes in heads. If you’re looking for a mindless action movie that won’t leave you with questions (because it doesn’t give you any reasons to ask any), this is a film right up your alley.
Just…if it’s going to be hard for you, might wanna fast forward to after the break-in. It’s a tough one to get through…