For Reel

John Wick (2014)
September 4, 2016, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Chad Stahelski & David Leitch
3.5 Stars
John WickThe eponymous John Wick is among the most competent of antiheroes—a seasoned hitman who finds himself compromised during a home invasion and never again. It is frequently absurd that action movies of this ilk ask audiences to identify with the heroes due to their supposed vulnerabilities when they spend the movie disposing of dozens upon dozens of henchman. There is never much doubt that John Wick will accomplish his goal, but that the film is spun in such a manner that the antihero is treated as the unstoppable killing machine is a neat twist—imagine a comic book movie where the villains spend every scene trying to evade the superhero because they know they will be thwarted. John Wick‘s twist on genre conventions, as well as its sly development of an intriguing universe (where hitmen have their own form of currency and hotels are constructed to cater to their needs), is sometimes upended by the film’s more frustrating choices—the irresistible soundtrack choice of Kaleida’s “Think” during an action sequence is the exception in a film that blares obnoxious nu-metal—but nonetheless it stands alongside Dredd and Mad Max: Fury Road as a rehabilitation of what was a dying genre in Hollywood.