BY RYAN MILOWICKI
For a while there, I thought that we’d lost Keanu Reeves. Seeing the blockbuster star of Speed and The Matrix reduced to flops like 47 Ronin was a blow to my childhood, but Reeves roars back into the action spotlight with John Wick. Easily the biggest surprise of 2014 for me, Wick is a visceral, gleefully over-the-top, and insanely fun experience which is made with the meticulous touch and care of the best Asian action films.
Chad Stahelski, Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix and Point Break, as well as the stunt coordinator for 300, directs for the first time by catering to his expertise, and each lengthy fight sequence has exquisite flow and choreography which prevent any scene from dragging too long. Combined with a much more fascinating story than was required, John Wick is never anything less than captivating.
This is a film with a simple story, and it always acknowledges it. John Wick (Reeves) is a retired hitman who just lost his wife to illness. As a final gift, she left him a puppy to serve as a reminder of their undying love. When an ignorant brat in the Russian mob (Game of Thrones‘ Alfie Allen) breaks into Wick’s house, stealing his vintage car and killing the dog, the violent fire within Wick begins to stoke once again. From this point forward, the movie lets you fill in the blanks. Wick becomes a one-man wrecking crew hellbent on exacting ultimate revenge on those who disrupted his peace and eliminating all who stand in his way.
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