There are movies that are action packed, there are movies that are gruesome, there are movies that are disturbing and then there are movies that are so violent that end up being beautiful. John Wick is one of the latter. Keanu Reeves has once again proven why he is such a versatile actor and how he can adapt to any role presented to him. A true veteran among the celebrity list of Hollywood.
John Wick’s script may seem very childish and implausible on a first read/view. But if watched closely, the movie makes more sense than movies like Rambo or The Expendables or maybe even Die Hard. The story is based on a retired contractual assassin John Wick (Played by Keanu Reeves) whose wife recently succumbed to a life threatening disease. He receives a Beagle from her post her demise who he names Daisy. He uses Daisy to fill up the gaping hole that was left in his life by his wife’s death.
John’s path crosses with Losef Tarasov (Played by Affie Allen) when the latter steals his car and ends up murdering Daisy. This causes John to return to his former self. He decides to take up his old profession one last time to avenge Daisy by killing Losef and anyone else who stood in his way.
Viggo Tarasov (Played by Michael Nyqvist) has worked with John Wick before and recognizes the extent of Wick’s talent and capabilities. He believes his son’s gauche, egocentric nature was going to lead to a bloodbath and the person doing shooting was going to be John Wick. His son had poked the wrong bear on the wrong winter night.
“John Wick is not the Boogeyman. He is the man you send to kill the f**king Boogeyman.”
Viggo sends a task force to try to take out John Wick but the task force is taken out by John Wick. Viggo then understands this job is only for the pros and sets a bounty on Wick’s head. Viggo then approaches Marcus (Played by Willem Dafoe) to offer him the contract, and Marcus complies but he had other ideas in mind. Marcus is an old assassin, one of the elite, a veteran in that business but in this movies he was more of a guardian angel to John Wick rather than being his killer. This clearly shows that John and Marcus had a mentor-student relationship, or maybe mutual respect or even friendship. John’s retirement caused him to become rusty when it came to hand to hand combat and that cost him numerous number of times during the movie. Marcus came to his rescue multiple number of times and when Viggo found out that Marcus was not doing the job that was asked of him, he tortured him before shooting him in the chest in his own house.
There is a seismic shift in Wick’s character from the start of the movie to his killing spree. He is shown as a docile man, who had no direction, no motive to survive in the world. But after his dog was murdered, he had a purpose again. A purpose to kill for (literally). Throughout the movie, Wick is treated with respect by all the characters, clearly implying that Wick was quite the pro in the past.
After Wick finds out about Marcus’ death, he confronts Viggo and this confrontation leads to one of the most epic scenes in the movie. Wick takes out Viggo’s men with ease and all this he does without even getting out of his car, The end is subtle and anti-climatic because after killing Viggo, Wick goes to a nearby port house to treat his injuries and ends up adopting a dog and walks away into the twilight. This gives the viewers a comic relief from the presiding gruesome violent scenes.
Overall, John Wick is an action-packed delight. The Matrix star again shows us why he is one of the best in the business. With powerful dialogues, abundant action scenes and enough comic reliefs, the movie is like a treat on Christmas. I have left out a few details of the movie, just to ensure I did not end up giving any spoilers. This is one movie you shouldn’t miss.
My Rating for John Wick: 8.7/10