John Wick, the ‘new’ Keanu Reeves film, took ages to cross the Pond. After sitting through it, it’s a shame it bothered making the trip.
Released in October 2014, UK cinemagoers finally get a chance to see what America raved about.
I was curious myself, especially as it was such a generic title for a revenge thriller.
Reeves plays the eponymous hero, a man in mourning following the death of his wife.
To his amazement, after she passes, a package arrives on Wick’s doorstep. It turns out to be the cutest puppy seen in an action film for many a moon.
However, when Wick incurs the wrath of Russian gangsters (including Game of Thrones’ Alfie Allen) at a gas station, he lives to pay the price when they break into his house, kill the dog and beat him up.
We soon discover Wick is a man with a special set of skills. Taking a sledgehammer to his concrete basement floor, he unearths a box full of guns and small arms.
The rest of the film seems like a relentless killing spree as Wick dispatches every bad guy that enters the frame.
The movie starts out to be a promising revenge thriller, and when that dog arrives it’s hard not to sympathise with our grieving hero.
Alas, as he sets out on a trail of revenge, credibility goes out of the window. Shooting people to a techno soundtrack might be your cup of tea, but for me it underlined how morally bankrupt this movie was.
Not even the ever-reliable Ian McShane could rescue it from a cesspit of despair.
Yes, it might borrow heavily from eastern cinema classics such as City on Fire, but transplanted to the US, it just came across as crass and unoriginal.
It probably says a lot that the US Apple Store is screening it for 99 cents at the time of writing. If you happen to be in the States and rent it, you might feel short changed, even at that price.