“John Wick” was directed by Chad Stehelski in his directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allan, Willem Defoe, Bridgete Moynahan, Ian McShane, Adrienne Palicki, John Leguizamo, Dean Winters & Lance Reddick. Stehelski is mostly known as a stunt coordinator who worked with Reeves on “The Matrix” trilogy. David Leitch co directed the film but doesn’t receive credit and is also mainly known for stunts and second unit directing. Leitch would go on to direct “Deadpool 2”, “Atomic Blonde” & “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”.
John Wick (Reeves) is a retired hitman who was peacefully with his wife Helen (Moynahan) until she tragically passed of a terminal illness. After her death she leaves behind a small puppy named Daisy for John to deal with his own grief. One day at gas station, 3 young Russian gang members notice John’s car, a ‘69 Ford Mustang Mach 1. When Iosef Tasarov (Allen) attempts to buy it, John blows him off by saying its not for sale. Later that night, Iosef and his 2 friends break to John’s house, attacking him, steals the car & kills Daisy. When Iosef brings the car to Auerlio (Leguizamo) to change the VIN numbers, Auerlio immediately recognizes the car and tells Iosef to get out, punching him in the process. Word gets back to Iosef’s father, Viggo (Nyqvist) of incident, but when Viggo learns of the Iosef’s actions, he makes a phone call. John arrives at Auerlio’s for another car and then digs up his cache of money, guns & wardrobe and heads for The Continental, an upscale, lavish hotel that houses some of city’s biggest hitmen. The hotel is run by Winston (McShane) and the Concierge, Charon (Reddick). Viggo sends a dozen of his men to stop John but they fail. He then issues a bounty on John for $2 million, his right hand man & lawyer, Avi (Winters) sends the word. He offers an exclusive contract to Marcus (Defoe), John’s longtime friend and mentor which he hesitantly accepts. With John on the hunt & Viggo watching his every move, loyalty is broken, corruption ensues and bullets begin to fly. John must fend off Viggo’s men and other contract killers to get his hands on Iosef to extinguish his anger.
Keanu Reeves was always a great action star but this film in particular gives him the ultimate push to the top of that category. This was an awesome action film from beginning to end. Reeves nails the character as both sympathetic and badass. The action sequences and fight scenes are fantastic. The storyline is a standard revenge story with a much darker spin than usual. Everyone in this film delivers solid performances and there was never a dull moment. Dark and gritty as all rated R action films should be. Can’t really say anything negative about this film.
John Wick was an amazing movie that had a mediocre box office, however good enough to spawn 2 sequels. “Chapter 2” in 2017 & “Parabellum” in 2019. Reeves is set appear on again in an upcoming 4th film, “John Wick: Chapter 4” in 2022. Despite his “John Wick” films, Reeves also appeared in 2015’s “Knock Knock”, 2016’s “The Bad Batch” and 2018’s “Replicas”. He even voiced the character of “Duke Kaboom” in 2019’s “Toy Story 4”. Reeves is also set to appear in a 3rd installment of “Bill & Ted” in 2020 and returning to “The Matrix” franchise with 4th film in 2022.