Star – Keanu Reeves
My Rating ****
Genre – Action/Thriller
Run Time – 1 Hr Minutes.
Certificate – 18
Country – U.S.A
Golden Globes –
Awards – 8 Nominations & 5Wins
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The John Wick films are probably the greatest action trilogy to remain mostly unseen and appreciated by the general public. Film one, John Wick, came out in 2014 a year after the final Blockbusters closed down on the highstreet and the streaming movie sites were still not that popular. You had to research your movies to know about the good ones out there, especially John Wick and Keanu Reeves explosive slick return to the top. For one of the best action flicks of the last decade it did only $88 million dollars because of that. The sequels are starting to do good business though and look incredible on their relatively low budgets, punters getting used to using increasingly faster streaming internet services to make new film watchable and affordable again on TV.
John Wick 3 – Budget $75m (Gross$321m)
John Wick 2 – Budget $49m Gross $171m)
John Wick – Budget $25m (Gross $88m)
It certainly got Keanu Reeves back on top, an actor facing the middle years of his career choosing to go away and build performance motorbikes than make movies. Although the John Wick movies remain outside the blockbuster numbers they did make Keanu cool again and so The Matrix and Bill & Ted movies are set to return in 2020. For 55 he still looks good on screen.
The John Wick premise is he is /was the best of the best of the world’s assassins but retiring from the business after his beloved wife died. He was part of a secretive brother – and sisterhood – of killers who have sworn allegiance to a secretive organization. There are sanctuaries around the world where they can hide out as they accept new jobs for their next targets. There is a written code of rules and a big one is you do not kill fellow assassins on those premises.
Keanu Reeves … John Wick
Halle Berry … Sofia
Ian McShane … Winston
Laurence Fishburne … Bowery King
Mark Dacascos … Zero
Asia Kate Dillon … The Adjudicator
Lance Reddick … Charon
Tobias Segal … Earl
Anjelica Huston … The Director
Saïd Taghmaoui … The Elder
Jerome Flynn … Berrada
Randall Duk Kim … Doctor
Margaret Daly … Operator
Robin Lord Taylor … Administrator
Susan Blommaert … Librarian
We pick up unarmed super assassin Wick (Reeves) on the run after being booted out of the organization for various rule breaks and now a $14m bounty on his head. NY Hotel manager and friend Winston (Ian McShane) gives him one hour head start from the sanctuary of the hotel before the deadline clicks up and every assassin can then try and kill him for the bounty. Any members of the organization that help him thereafter are subject to punishment from The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon), Winston and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) soon in the dock.
When midnight arrives its mayhem on the streets of Manhattan as the killers from various ethnic backgrounds and crime groups come at him thick and fast, Chinese Triad’s first to feel the force of John Wick – with whatever weapon to hands – Wick brutally taking out a Russian in the NY library with a book to the windpipe.
Surviving the Triads and Armenians he needs to get out of town fast and so calls in a favor with Belarus mafia boss (Angelica Houston) and given a passageway to Casablanca to meet up with fellow retired killer Sofia (Halle Berry), who also owes him a favor. It’s not long until they shoot-up Casablanca as the locals eye the 14m as Wick goes in search of the even more secretive man at the very top of the organization who makes an offer he can’t refuse, all this in the same suit he was wearing when this all started.
I loved the first two films and this one as fun. The action is deliciously over the top and the bodykill absurdly high but its cool and slick and the settings look fantastic. Young director Chad Stahelski has done amazing with the relatively low budget for this type of franchise movie and the big studios are probably asking how come their directors can’t do their action movies for these numbers?
As I say it looks super stylish in the Manhattan by night scenes and pretty much the rest of it, in the way Bond went all arty. Reeves in not in the best shape for the movie the way some stars insist they are for these films and bit silly the way the suit never comes off in the relentless, and often brutal, action scenes. At least Jason Statham saw the humor in the suit and Kung Fu kicks now splitting your crutch. Halle Berry is not so good in it and a bit hammy as the now compulsory female ass-kicker in these movies.
If you haven’t seen the trilogy you need to. Like the Die Hard movies it’s something you can watch again. Each film is highly entertaining and you need to rent John Wick as soon as guys and girls. It will make a great Christmas present. Do no watch film 3 or 2 if you haven’t seen one as they pick up straight after the end of the previous one. They are indeed the greatest action movies you have probably never seen.
Imdb.com 7.6/10.0 – (176,345votes)
Rottentomatos.com –90% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 73% critic’s approval