John Wick has this appeal different from any other action
movie—it’s a gritty character that feels pain, bleeds, gets shot, gets beat,
and in the end powers through all the pain and wins despite the odds. From the first two movies, it has never run
short of violence, and in its third installment, it takes that violence to an
even higher level.
“Guns, lots of guns”
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has broken the rules of The Continental—a haven that provides refuge and services to the assassins underground — and as part of the consequences he has to die. To survive a 15 million bounty on his head, set by The High Table, he enlists the help of other organizations in the assassin world as well as that of friends he’s made throughout his days as the Baba yaga; this includes Sofia (Halle Berry) now a manager at one of The Continental Hotel branches and The Director (Anjelica Huston) a leader at what the film hints as John Wick’s place of origin.
A Violence of its own
The film follows a standard of violence that is easily believable; unlike most Asian gore films that show intestines and pieces of brain, and other western films that show the character as almost untouchable, the scenes in John Wick took actual training and applied combat skills to the big screen.
The fight scenes were continuous and camera angling was on point that it gave enough of an idea to the audience of what just happened in the short sequence of one-on-one combat and the long sequence of one-against-many skirmishes.
Doing very little research on what took place behind the camera, it was praiseworthy what training the cast had to go through to enact their own stunts and properly operate the weapons the film had plenty of.
However, there were scenes that really emphasized the whole movie was fiction, it opened with a strongly grounded sequence of confrontation but in the near end, it slowly became an unbelievable show of abilities. I especially was not a fan of the almost-magical vanishing act of Wick and some ninjas.
Though some sequences had to be possible for the sake of the story, how it was executed could’ve been better.
You’d have to watch the first two movies to really understand the world John Wick involved in.
The world-building for this franchise was exceptional. It had systems, it had rules, it had history and it showed that those factors also follow that of the characters Wick entangled himself with but in the middle of it, they showed the human side of those characters and that even if the consequences were death, they still chose to act based on emotion, duty, and their better judgment.
The ending was very much a disappointment but only because it was very clear this franchise was not a trilogy.
It had those “bop” sounds that gave emphasis to how hard a person was punched and it really did help the action sequence.
The background music though… It was probably the weakest of any action movie you’ve ever watched—modern standards—though I get that they were trying to emphasize what was happening in the foreground as plainly as it was, the tracks were just not strong enough; not all of them, of course, but there were plenty.
It was inconsistent and could be why the movie had a boring vibe to it despite its violent themes.
Keanu Reeves is one of the most passionate actors of our generation. You see that in his expressions, in the effort he’s put to the martial arts and weapons training in preparation of the movie were extremely commendable, but his delivery of dialogue felt very anti-climactic—it wasn’t the script - just his tone and how he says it just felt off. Nonetheless, this was a character that’d be equally as iconic as his Neo from The Matrix.
Over-all the movie was a strong 7 out of 10.
It had the violence you’d love from the first John Wick installments but it had way too much of it if you’re new to the franchise.
It lived up to the violence it promised, and the cast should be proud of setting an action movie that raised the standard for the next assassin films that are to come. If there was a book that had to look back on the evolution of action films, John Wick would be seen as one of the game changers that raised the genre.
Would I watch it again? Maybe in a DVD copy.