John Wick Review Part 2
That attitude of “You Suck if You Never Heard of the Character We Just Made Up” marketing carries through to the film and is one of the parts the movie kind of falls into the laughable zone. Every character in the film more or less soiled themselves every time the name John Wick was mentioned and it took like half an hour of film time before we were given a clue as to why he was being treated with the same fear and dread as as Voldemort with the One Ring. I’m sure having everyone look like their mother found their porn collection (my own personal terror) whenever John showed up or was mentioned in passing sounded a lot more ominous on the script or even in shooting but on screen it just looked stupid. The really bad ass hitmen are the guys you never heard of.
The other issue I had was John’s motivation. He basically goes on a mass shooting spree killing and shoots dozens of armed goons and risks his life because some kid stole his car and killed his dog. Granted the car was super cool (vintage ’69 Mustang) and the dog was super, duper, uber cute but still it seems like a lot, especially when he could have probably called the kid’s father and gotten his car back and a chance to beat on the guy pretty heavily.
For all that the film was beautifully violent and extremely well shot. Keanu Reeves knows how to film fight scenes (image actually comes from the Karate Kid t shirt category) and the director must have had lunch with a fight choreographer because they did not fall back on the flicker vertigo inducing quick cut action sequencing most of Hollywood is falling back on to cover the fact that modern action heroes these days can not only not act but also can’t fight. They seemed to embrace their R rating (although no nudity in spite of ample opportunity). None of it was grossly over the top but all super fun, and John Wick is an interesting enough character to draw you in and root for his success. Also the Mustang was not the only great vintage muscle car and I appreciate cars.