Movie Review: John Wick

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars

Bottom Line: Mindless fun.  Good stylized violence.  A wicked sense of humor.

Poor Alfie Allen!  I didn’t think it was possible to be typecast as a young upstart who consistently pines for the approval of his father and fails miserably, but there you have it.  You may know Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy from “Game of Thrones”.  In “John Wick”, he reprises his role as Theon, but this time he is called Iosef Tarasov and he is the son of a gangland mafia boss.  He has a chance meeting with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) at a gas station and really likes John’s car.  Boy, did he pick the wrong person to steal a car from.  I won’t spoil more than that, because if you don’t know more than that about the movie, I’ll completely spoil John Wick’s motivation for you.

“John Wick” is a fun movie.  It is carefully crafted and scenes are created with an abundance of attention to detail.  I was surprised to learn that “John Wick” does not come from any comic book or regular book series.  For a stand-alone movie with no background source material to borrow from, there is certainly a lot of world-building in the movie.  The “John Wick” underworld is a universe within itself with all sorts of rules and etiquette.

Another surprising thing about this movie is the amount of legitimately funny dry humor in the movie.  It’s all done in a deadpan way without any accompanying music or action and the result is dead air filled with an audience that is laughing.  I don’t think I’ve been more aware of audience laughter in a movie.  It’s a bit eerie, especially given the source material.

The one major complaint I have about the movie is how poorly all these little things get wrapped up in the end.  It’s almost sloppy.  It slightly ruined my enjoyment of the movie.  It makes me think that they had an alternate ending in mind that didn’t test well so they threw this ending together.  Or maybe ending movies is just really difficult and this is the best they could come up with.  Regardless, “John Wick” is a fun ride despite its warts.  I would certainly enjoy a sequel if it’s of the quality of the first three-fourths of the movie.

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  1. Pingback: Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 | A Little Rebellion

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