Keanu Reeves is back with a Vengeance in ‘John Wick’
Set in a cryptic, mythological New York City, “John Wick” is an action thriller that follows ex-hitman John Wick out of the shadows of retirement to retrieve everything he loves. Though the film itself is action-packed, it’s signature wit and humor distinguish it from other hit man films. John Wick is more reminiscent of a suave and witty Tony Stark than an enigmatic, cool James Bond. The film reflects this as it enthrallingly brings you to the edge of your seat and simultaneously throws you back in laughter.
Dually directed by first timer David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, “John Wick” holds its own personal style. The two directors were professional Hollywood stuntman and brought their knowledge to the task. Imagine the kinetic cinematography of “The Matrix” clashing with the intellect and humor of an “Iron Man” film. The result is a beautifully directed action film with the right amount of comic relief. The directors had been looking for a script that would allow them to “have fun” and achieve the highbrow action design they wanted. After coming across screenwriter Derek Kolstad’s “John Wick” script, they fell in love with its not-so-serious style.
“John Wick” has garnered praise not only for its visual design, but for its musical score. Composers Tyler Bates and Joel Richard scored the film’s soundtrack. The music is a nod to classic rock and modern techno. This heightens the film’s mystical, playful nature and only strengthens the action of the film.
Critics are raving at Keanu Reeves stellar performance as hit man John Wick. What is now being deemed his comeback role, Reeves plays a sensitive retiree who lost everything, and over the course of the movie, uncovers his brooding nature as a former assassin. Reeves does so effortlessly, playing both parts as eloquent as the other and encapsulating the charm, mystery, and power of John Wick.
The film’s “fun” quality echoes beyond just the director and audience’s response. Keane Reeves has said that though the scenes required intense and complex physical movements, they brought a sense of nostalgia to him. “It’s like going back to childhood” he said, describing the time on set, “you’re playing. I got to drive cars. I got to get trained with guns. It was a blast.” The film transcends this, as it is more of a fun ride than intrinsic character study. Nevertheless, there is still magic to John Wick. “”I liked that part of the character. There was this kind of emotional side of him, this vulnerability,” says Reeves. “He fights for what he believes.”
The film’s critical acclaim has already sprung up questions of sequels and a potential franchise. It’s ending adds fuel to the fire. “John Wick” takes the viewer through an enchanting world of action-packed fantasy. Amid this it manages to eject a sharp wit and edgy humor from the screen. It is this combination that produces this one of a kind hitman movie both Leitch and Stahelski wanted to make. It has the basic elements of an action movie, but brings with it a lighthearted comedic charm. “John Wick’s” laissez-faire approach at action fantasy ultimately separates it from the genre, allowing it to be enjoyed by a wider audience.
“John Wick” hits theaters nationwide October 24.