Keanu Reeves is one of those actors that has delivered some great action films over the years including Point Break and The Matrix. Lately he has been trying his hand in the martial arts world with 47 Ronin and his directorial debut The Man of Tai Chi. Now he is stepping back in front of the camera to flex his action chops once again with John Wick, but can he bring the pain needed for the role or will it be a contract that he never should have taken?
John Wick follows an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. Besides Reeves, this film sports a great cast including Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Willem Dafoe, Jason Isaacs, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Kevin Nash, Michael Nyqvist, and Dean Winters who all do a great job to help bring this world to life, but make no mistake this is Reeves all the way. This is easily his best film to date in the action world just for the sheer ferocity and simplicity of it all. He has little dialogue, but brings intensity to the role while still maintaining a sense of clear emotional pain needed to for this character to work. The story itself has been told numerous times, but the inclusion of the dog adds a innocence to the victim and somehow more heartbreaking when blended with the nature of the dog’s purpose. The opening of the film is slow, but with purpose allowing the audience to understand the personal struggles Wick is going through, but once we get past that fateful night all hell breaks loose. The action is fast, brutal, and perfectly executed. Reeves has clearly not only developed a love for the genre, but embraced it and found his new world that he will hopefully continue to do so. These are real action sequences filled with some awesome and violent fight sequences blended with no holds barred gun play that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This is a very basic film that is perfectly executed with a gritty undertone that helps to bring the secret underworld of crime and assassins to the forefront with an old school action vibe. The short run time to the film keeps things from ever dragging any more than necessary and the obvious concern each character has when they hear his name helps to elevate his legend to new heights. Keanu Reeves is back and more badass than ever and has delivered one of the best action films to come along in some time. This film has everything you could want in the genre and who knows maybe we will get lucky enough to revisit the blood soaked world of John Wick with future installments.