When reading the plotline to John Wick, the immediate thought is that it is an 80's Schwarzenegger film. Given the basis, you cannot help but be at confused in your fault. Essentially it is the story of a trained gunman who comes out of retirement to track down those who took something from him. Yes, it certainly sounds a lot like Commando and Rambo - or even that film from only a few months ago with the exact same story (The Equalizer). But it's not. It's actually Keanu Reeves' latest film...
You would like to think that it was a blimp for Keanu to do such a film. But his last few films have been a example of the how far into boundless outta-mainstream cinema he is willing to go. I mean, 47 Ronin. Really?
That is not to admit that they have not been enjoyable though. Sometimes a film with a five minutes plot and the remainder as action shootouts is just what you need to escape to. Who knows, sometimes mindless action flicks become classics (it is not often, but there is no harm in trying).
For first-time directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (both formerly stunt coordinators), John Wick seems like a lot to handle. As well as the physical side - which they have nailed down. There is also the other side of the film to consider: what it looks like and how well it is made. This is where their struggle shows ... college-grade camera work, flimsy narrative and clichés become over-apparent.
Fortunately, most of the action sequences do make up for this. When Wick' gets a gun in his hands you cannot help but feel genuine excitement. Mostly from not knowing what stunt or endeavour will happen next. Apparently it is a new style of martial arts which meets weaponry, called 'Gunfu'. But all you need know is that is is guaranteed to include some degree of violence and physicality. Headshots, body part removal and high body counts are the films main highlights as it secures itself as an action galore B-movie.
But is action all John Wick has going for it? Sadly, yes. Even with Keanu, William Dafoe and Alfie Allen attached, it is literally a ridiculous mash of stereotypes, clichés and obscene characters (one is even called The Boogeyman!). Our advice? Watch The Raid 2 instead.