Chew's Reviews - 'John Wick'

By Gary Chew | October 24, 2014 Opens today Just in time for the holidays and into the beginning of 2015,  John Wick  has ope...

By Gary Chew | October 24, 2014

Opens today

Just in time for the holidays and into the beginning of 2015, John Wick has opened. Video game enthusiasts are sure to go hog wild, and what with the name “John Wick” as the title and the very same name being such a part of gaming, how can we lose?

But that's not all: John Wick is, without doubt, the title role made in heaven – or some place like that –
for Keanu Reeves. The Wick character is a human male, but robotic and displaying stilted body language; and when he speaks, it's usually in short phrases with hardly any inflections whatsoever.

Seriously, director David Leitch makes Wick a gang-busters entertainment. And what a gang of really creepy villains it provides us for a couple of weekend hours at the cineplex in our burb. Read this list of creepy bad guys: Michael Nyqvist, Willem DaFoe, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo (in cameo) and Alfie Allen as the mob boss's unruly and decadent son who's best described as a Mick Jagger type, but good looking – sort of.

There's another villain in this piece who's not so creepy and attractive. That's Adrianne Palicki. Her character is almost as ruthless as John. Keanu and Adrianne don't have a tryst in the movie, but they sure do have a hell of a scene fighting.

Wick is a retired hit man who is – yes, that's right – forced out of retirement to get bloody revenge on a klatch of dirt bags who kill something most dear to Wick just after the naturally caused death of his lovely wife. This makes it OK for Wick to bust butt all over town with impunity (Hardly any cops anywhere.) and our never being upset about the terrible retribution he wreaks on the “real” villains.

I lost count, but I'd guess Reeves' character kills – and this is a conservative estimate – two-hundred-fifty bad people. Vengeance is Keanu's. And the subterranean dark comedy of it all had me in occasional stitches, except for some of the many way-too-long fight scenes and nerve-grinding chases and vehicle crashes. All so real.

John Wick can be a real hoot if you tune your antenna to the little stuff wrapped around all the rat-tat-tat and bone breaking. Really. I mean it.

For his next film, I hope Reeves pushes the envelope a bit more to make a really dark-action-comedy
with, of course, him playing it straight among a cast that is ever so slightly more tongue-in-cheek than the cleverly selected actors who appear in John Wick.

Surely there must be a healthy market for Mr. Reeves to continue his career as we know it, but spreading his appeal to smaller audiences as well that would be entertained by the irony of another full-bore action-packed picture that Keanu Reeves is so adroitly able to handle.

President Truman has inaccurately been given authorship to the line, “Need a friend? Get a dog.” I will only say in closing that as John Wick closes, please remember that line Harry Truman didn't say. Okay?

Copyright © 2014 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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