Film Review: JOHN WICK

ABOVE: "#JohnWick was guilty pleasure sorted, revenge dreams come true, bangbang reload kick kick bangbang fun but forgettable. No regrets watch(ing) Keanu Reeves on a smoldering killing spree lol" (my instagram)


IT'S PERSONAL

I like a good "revenge" flick. Formulaic films with one word on their agenda; "KILL", with "righteous vengeance" as the reason, triggered off by the wrongful death of someone near and dear ... a "guilty pleasure" by any means, where by virtue of watching the silver screen, you partake of the story, and BECOME the vengeful hero/anti-hero, righting wrongs and kicking ass (like your boss' tight butt, or that mofo who knocked into you purposefully as you got on the cab, or even the errant shop owner who cheated you of your iPhone .. heh) ... and in the instance of JOHN WICK, the death of a dog left behind to him, via his late wife. No surprises here, the trailers basically told what everyone what the film is about! John gives a speech somewhen in the film answering that, but I will not spoil it for you. That would be his "moment".

A "moment" in the midst of the movie, where the actor(s) provides a heightened emotional "speech" or delivery, a chance to "act on the word stage", I call it .. like Pacino's shouting monologue in all his films LOL ... but I digress...

Because truthfully, there really is not much to "spoil" at all for this film. But tis cool, tis alright. One "successful" trait of this film, I feel, is the abundant lack of need for cerebral activity, not that that makes it "bad", no - it simply means you could just sit back, and indulge in said-guilty pleasure of seeing the motions of a "revenge flick" run it's course, sating thy need for the good old noughties' bloodshed!

The Americans are up against the Russians again, like the good old days of the Cold War lol



BANGBANG RELOAD KICKKICK BANGBANG

Loads of gun play and bullets. Subtle sounds of cracking bones and necks aplenty. Appreciative of reloading bullent-magazines into guns/rifles which refreshingly do indeed run out of bullets (I read that somewhere which I forget from whom, so I do not lay claim to that obseverence :p). "Real time" reloading too, as are the fights, ala long single takes and wider shots with minimal to zero action edits. NICE. No fuss, no glamor, all painfully brutal.

Much has been said about the directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, their pedigree in stunts for numerous feature films, resulting in this deceptively "safe" offering, heavily brutal in a "realism" cinema-fans might not wholly comprehend, perhaps? But then again, there's no need to go all-cereral about it LOL

Although post-movie, I'd personally feel that it must somehow have felt thoroughly vindicated to produce something unlike all what they have been doing so far tho MUHAHAHAHAHA

The downside to all the muted flash and echoed bangs is, the film might end up being "forgettable" - which by all means naught in negativity, as it allows constant viewing of the film on DVD/Blu-Ray etc! Nothing truly sticks in your mind, festering away in a little corner of your brainspace - like wondering if the spinning top will topple or not, or if we are indeed "alone in the Universe" LOL


SWEET SWEATY RAINBOW IMPLOSION

And stylishly lit too, with very controlled but "realistic" lighting design, featuring saturated colors when needed, satisfying crushed blacks when desired. I say this coming from a production design / art direction POV, the production has done a pretty sweet, effective, and commendable job here, truly!

Production Design by Dan Leigh (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, Person of Interest - TV).

Art Direction by C.J. Simpson (Person of Interest, Law & Order)

Set Decoration by Susan Bode (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Inside Llewyn Davis, Men in Black 3)

Costume Design by Luca Mosca (Vantage Point, Step Up 2: The Streets, The Last Witch Hunter)



KEANU

While not exactly his best performance to date, Keanu smolders pretty decent here, with oily hair and a swell beard. And of course dapper cut suits! So there is nothing negative I need to say about his "Wick".

The hushed tones are appreciative, the outbursts delicious and controlled. The "vulnerable" part of his persona, early on in the film, makes for a great foil to said-smoldering. And perhaps a built-up anger at himself and everything else around him, propels him to keep his dialogue to a minimum.

"Sad Keanu" is hee to kick your a$$, bitches!




WICK'S WORLD

A persona was created, with a legend of a backstory spoken in hushed tones and anecdotes of "The Boogeyman" to scare other killers, along with a wholly fictional world, devoid of geo-social-political relevance to the "real world", and hence a franchise is possible to grow, and bloom. I want to see more of The Continental, myself :)

Killers are lauded and recognized as "superstars". Respect is given for a successful killer too. Not something you'd need to explain to your child about "career opportunities", but for sixty-one minutes, YOU suddenly become that empathetic killer, righting wrongs, and carving out revenge on those who need to be educated, the "dead way".

Like I said, "guilty pleasure" all the way! :)

Bad guys and arrogant bastards gets their just due, and betrayers bite the dust in the most horrid of ways and means, and ironically, the anti-hero that which is "John Wick" - a former hitman who has killed countless people himself, for money, no less - gets to walk away to a sunrise with … naaaah, I'll not totally spoil it for you folks :)

(Reviewed by Andy Heng.)


PEOPLE SAY
"It was enjoyable, but after the end of the film I realized that I was more interested (in the) underworld they created with the hotel and the coins. If you think about it. They built a world for John Wick to take place in and not sure if people noticed that with all the action. Like a governed secret society." - Michael Schultz (on FB)
"Not even a guilty pleasure it was just a refreshing action movie. Reminded me of the gold we got in the 80s" - @roccothegreat (on IG)
"…one really fun ride ... I wanna watch it again." - Jerry Teo (on FB)
(All stills via www.johnwickthemovie.com)
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