The Christmas holidays in South Africa bring with it a mass scale shut down of most of one’s usual entertainment sources. Movies, however, remain open and a source of pleasure … and John Wick is one of the more entertaining movies of the 2014 season. It is an action thriller with lots of violence, but one is left feeling hopeful.
It stars Keanu Reeves as John Wick with Michael Myqvist as Viggo Tarasov, the head of the New York Russian crime syndicate, and Alfie Allen as Iosef Tarasov, Viggo’s son and the person who mainly annoyed John Wick by stealing his car and killing his dog, Daisy. Willem Dafoe is a veteran hitman who accepts a US$2 million contract on John Wick. Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Daniel Bernhardt and more also feature.
As I mentioned earlier there is a lot of violence in the movie and a fair amount of swearing. People who are traumatised by the killing of puppies may want to avoid the movie, although I found the shooting, stabbing and brutal hand to hand combat more stressful. There is a very high body count.
Lots of fast paced action with moments of humour keep one glued to the screen. Lots of gun play action, a hint of remembered romance and a story which is not demanding intellectually but is still rational and does not strain one’s willing suspension of disbelief too much (ok, one guy takes on all the others and doesn’t die – yeah, right) and it ends in a way that allows for a sequel. What more could one want?
I give this one 9/10 for its genre. See it if you like the genre. Avoid it if you don’t.
Opens on 19 December 2014.