Film Review: John Wick

John Wick

Director Chad Stahelski’s John Wick is a stylish action thriller with neo noir overtones. The film is entertaining throughout.

Recovering from the death of his wife, former hit man John Wick is slowly starting to recover when his new hope is taken from him. With nothing to lose, John is on a revenge mission…

John Wick is a successful directorial debut from stunt co-ordinator Chad Stahelski. The film works well thanks to its pacing and strong action sequences. John Wick barely offers a respite from the action, and is a better film for it. Stahelski clearly knows the film’s strengths.

The premise of the film is simple, but not much more is required to set up the sequence of action. John Wick is a straightforward revenge tale, but one that engages with a brisk pace and a lack of unnecessary derailments. The humour present in the film is a good tool to acknowledge the absurdity of some of the situations. And yet John Wick endears with its refreshing lack of pretension.

The protagonist’s story is told mostly in flashbacks. The beginning of the film is effective in informing the audience of the present situation without spending too much time on the past. More of an idea of the character of John Wick is given through others rather than the character himself. The protagonist functions as something of a blank slate, allowing supporting characters to build up an impression of him. The antagonist in John Wick is rather caricature, however there is slightly more to him, which is revealed later in the film.

John Wick‘s soundtrack is good, and the art direction gives the film a neo noir feel with its use of colour and artificial lighting. Never known for superb acting, Keanu Reeves is well cast as the the detached hit man.

With its finely executed fight sequences, John Wick is a most enjoyable action movie. Fans of the genre should lap up this offering.