|JOHN WICK (directors: Chad Stahelski/David Leitch; screenwriters: Derek Kolstad/Joel Zadak; cinematographer: Jonathan Sela; editor: Elisabet Ronalds; music: Tyler Bates/Joel J. Richard; cast: Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Michael Nyqvist (Viggo Tarasov), Alfie Allen (Iosef Tarasov), Adrianne Palicki (Ms. Perkins), Bridget Moynahan (Helen), Dean Winters (Avi), Lance Reddick (Hotel Manager/Charon), Toby Leonard Moore (Victor), Ian McShane (Winston, hotel manager), John Leguizamo (Aurelio), Willem Dafoe (Marcus), Munro M. Bonnell (Catholic Priest); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: ; producer: David Leitch/Basil Iwanyk, Eva Longoria and Michael Witherill; Summit Entertainment; 2014)|
|"Revels in the killings."
by Dennis Schwartz
you've seen one of these formulaic senseless revenge
films whereby a lone wolf vic becomes a one-man
killing machine against an army of bad dudes, then
you probably have seen them all. Co-directors Chad
Stahelski (former martial arts teacher
and Reeves’s stunt double in “Constantine”
and two of the
bad-ass retired hit man, John Wick (Keanu
Reeves), buries his cancer-ridden wife
Helen of four years in NJ. While gassing up at a
station while driving his vintage 1969 dark grey Mustang home
from the funeral, Wick refuses to sell his car to
the bullying punky customer Josef (Alfie Allen).
That night Josef and two of his henchmen enter
Wick's NJ home and steal the car, kill his cute
beagle puppy Daisy and work Wick over. Josef is
the son of the ruthless Russian mob boss Viggo
Nyqvist), who tells his obnoxious bratty
son he made a big mistake. When the mob boss calls
to make a deal, Wick is in no mood for civilities
and hangs up. Wick loved his car, and the puppy
was a meaningful last gift from the wife he loved.
So dad takes out a $2 million contract on Wick
from an outsider and also has his regular gang go
after the hit man who once worked for him. From
here-on there's one bloody-massacre after another.
The first occurs as 12 home invaders are
slaughtered by Wick. That's followed by mass
murders in a night-club, where scores of gang
members are killed by the relentless Wick on the
strobe-lit dance floor, on different floors while
on the lookout and in the bathhouse.
The hitmen hired by dad
include Willem Dafoe and the
black-leather clad Adrianne Palicki, who makes the
mistake of attempting her assassination in a
mobster-run hotel that discourages violence on its
premise by promising to get even with any rule
This pic revels in the killings, offers a hare-brained story, the dialogue is banal and the undeveloped characters are superficial. It's the kind of B-film where the violence is the thing to love, as Jonathan Sela's camera makes love to the dead. If such senseless screen brutality is not your thing, this is a hard pic to stomach.
REVIEWED ON 11/11/2014 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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