John Wick, with Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen & Willem Dafoe. Directors, David Leitch & Chad Stahelski. Reeves exhibits his mastery of the uber mensch genre, once again. It’s good to have him back on top, after a prelude of relatively, minor films; revving up his superstar engine. Good strategy, if that’s what it is. This film isn’t just a shoot ’em up cavalcade. It is an exhibition of ability & easily the most viscerally, aggressive film I’ve seen this year.
Say what you will about Reeves’, he knows how to thrill. This time as a retired hitman, pulled back into the underworld after a mob princeling & his accompanying thugs destroy a peaceful world that he’s made for himself. Keanu seems at his understated & underestimated best; stoicism at the ready & his (mostly) subtle emotions boiling over. Akin to a fast approaching storm on the horizon that arrives before you know it.
Though much reduced & forgotten after years of being the eccentric top guy at the box office, Dafoe shines in his secondary role as the hitman’s peer, with a suspicious agenda. I found him to be perfectly himself. Satisfying.
The film is a romp, an unprecedented display of the power of the gun. A ballet, rivaling Reeves’ work in The Matrix & his subsequent, recent overseas hit Man of Tai Chi. Great special effects bring to life the inhuman ability to kill, en masse. What is awe inspiring, specifically; is the ability of cinema to create such a contemporary monster of such power. It can indeed, be compared to his reluctant messiah “Neo”. At the very least, it does have the same aura of dark destiny.
I recommend the film, wholeheartedly. Nyqvist is a little less than what he could be, in his role as a mob boss, but everyone else pulls together to create an action masterpiece.