I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this movie. I wasn’t expecting much but it turned out to be a pretty solid action movie.
I think the main thing I liked is that it was completely devoid of exposition. Nobody said any stupid lines to explain the plot, or to verbalize what was about to happen on screen. Things just happened, things were the way they were because, well, that’s just the way they were. The very simple plot was allowed to play out pretty much the way you expected it to, without any major turns or reveals or twists.
John Wick is a master assassin who has been retired for five years but is pulled back into his old world to avenge the death of his dog. I won’t go into detail about the dog but they succinctly explain the motivation behind the dog in less time than it took for you to read this paragraph so far. As I mentioned earlier, no exposition. The dialog was mostly short and to the point, and very well written for a movie with such a huge body count. My favorite line in the whole movie explained Wick’s background, or position within the underworld, in about 5 seconds of dialog. No flashbacks. No montages. No long drawn out explanations. Just one line was all it took for me to believe that this was a man who was capable of going into night club and killing about 50 people while only taking a bullet or two and a small stabbing. Note that this wasn’t the case for my wife, she thought it was a little overboard. But I’m a dude and I’m wired to believe stupid shit. Ha ha.
The film had some obvious visual effects blood here and there, but I counted over 50 stunt players and around 35 people under the VFX heading in the credits, and that included all the td’s, IT guys and producers. Suffice it to say that there were a lot of practical stunts and effects.
John Wick gets a thumbs up. It did pretty well at the box office last weekend, especially considering the minimal advertising I’ve seen for it. I’m glad that something like this has found an audience and that we can have a little reprieve from the mindless, crappy action movies we’re usually fed (I’m looking at you, The Equalizer!) John Wick wasn’t particularly smart, but it was not dumb, it was concise, and I enjoyed it a lot.