Film of the Day (08/05/18): John Wick

 

Written By Derek Kolstad
Directed By Chad Stahelski and David Leitch

Never, EVER kill a hitman’s dog…

What do you get when you take a few ex-stuntmen-turned-directors, add in a script that features a body count that would have have made John Woo blush 30 years ago, and cast the face of one of the biggest action franchises of the last three decades as the lead? You get this slick, stylized and ridiculously badass movie. It doesn’t really matter that the plot is thinner than an anorexic model, because that’s all beside the point. The story of a retired hitman who roars back to life in the business of death because a thug killed his dog and stole his car is all window-dressing, a mere excuse for a 100-minute exercise in masculinity. Keanu Reeves is back in action form, a one-man walking bullet dispensary bent on revenge, keeping the “specialized cleaning” business afloat seemingly on his own. That business, by the way, is one of several examples of the seedy East Coast underworld working in tangent with one another, a sort of extremely dysfunctional family that has its own rules, codes…and even a hotel. The moments in said world often come with a well-timed or well-delivered line that cuts through the relentless action nicely, pausing to give you a bit of levity amongst the copious amounts of murder. Reeves has a deadpan tone for 99% of the movie and it works beautifully in those moments, while never coming across as cheesy or over the top. It just all works, coming together in a great little whirlwind of an action movie that kicks your door in, kills everyone, doesn’t overstay its welcome, and cleans up after itself.

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