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As was written so often in the reviews: “A deeply satisfying movie experience.” And it’s true. Of course this is all over-the-top nonsense, the way a John Woo film is over-the-top nonsense. Of course this is all a bunch of hyper-choregraphed glorification of violence (in the way a John Woo film is a bunch of hyper-choregraphed glorification of violence). And of course it has some questionable crime mob stereotypes (in the way …  I guess “Taken” is the new gold standard for this).

But it is satisfying, because the good guy has a cause, and the bad guys had it coming. It is full of splendid set pieces (the night club!), joyfully eerie settings (the “Continental Hotel” as a launching pad and socialising hub for assassins), splendid casting (Ian McShane delivering the best sentence of the film: “Your membership at the Continental has been revoked by your own doing”, but also Willem Dafoe! Michael Nyqvist! Lance Reddick! John Leguizamo!). The fact that Keanu Reeves (a not too terrific screen presence in my book) plays John Wick is acceptable, now that Reeves has become a bit more bulky and aged. He looks more on-screen alive than in previous years – I still do not care for him too much, and perceived him to almost be a “no  name actor” choice, which is not a bad thing for the film, as John Wick may well be a prominent assassin (“he is the guy you send to kill the fucking boogeyman”), but in this line of work a certain ability to stay anonymous and invisible is of help.

Despite the inevitable missteps, pacing and story issues (what’s with that killer lady? And is that personal assistant of Viggo just poorly written or poorly played?), this is a great hands-on action film. Well done, and see you at the sequel!

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/john_wick/

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One Comment

  1. I’ve read many positive reviews for this movie, and you are another who was satisfied. Keanu Reeves hasn’t made a must-see movie for a long time, but I guess I should check it out! Apparently they are developing Jock Wick 2


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