'John Wick' Review Roundup: Keanu Reeves Action Flick Wows Critics
John Wick stars action star Keanu Reeves as the eponymous hero of the story, a retired hitman seeking revenge on a band of gangsters.
Directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, John Wick begins with the death of John’s dog, one of the last things left that remind him of his late wife. When John finds out that his dog was killed by a group of thugs – ones connected to his former employer – he decides to come out of retirement to exact revenge. The flick also stars Ian McShane, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willen Dafoe, John Leguizamo and Bridget Moynahan.
'John Wicks' Reviewed
Across the board, critics have praised John Wick as a refreshing take on the assassin and revenge subgenres among action films. It’s stylish, short on filler dialogue and builds up slowly to unleash the chaos. For Reeves, John Wick is said to provide a return to form.
“Stahelski has created an impressively distinctive, self-contained world for John Wick that emphasizes sophistication and stylishness. […] And he runs his characters through it without a single extraneous moment or unnecessary word of dialogue until the somewhat overlong finale. Those are value-added bonuses, though, compared to what he does best here: taking an old-school approach to the film’s half dozen or so major mayhem-athons. Instead of the fast-cutting, shaky-cam mash-ups common today, Stahelski employs long, elaborately choreographed takes in which every move is clearly delineated — and credible in the moment.” – Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times
“John Wick transforms the current zeal for hit-man movies into a mix of propulsive homicide and giddy farce. It’s odd for Reeves, a languid, mild-mannered performer, to play a roughneck outlaw, but Liam Neeson was a gentle fellow before murdering his way to riches in those “Taken” thrillers. Preposterous angles like that are exactly what make the movie pleasurable. High-octane lunacy makes it novel.” – Colin Colvert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"John Wick, is not only a return to badass form for [Keanu Reeves], it's also one of the most excitingly visceral action flicks I've seen in ages. John Wick could have easily been another disposable Hollywood knuckle-dragger. But you get the sense that the filmmakers — and their revitalized leading man — were aiming for something a little daffier, smarter, and more elusive. They've taken a broken clock and lovingly restored it with Swiss timing and precision." – Chis Nashahawty, Entertainment Weekly
"This is not an action movie in the Michael Bay lineage; rather than an escalating series of explosions, John Wick offers a slow burn, sizzling in a manner true to its hero’s surname. The laconic screenplay stays away from high-minded dialogue. (The two lines that got the biggest laughs at my showing were both “Oh.”) Instead, it relies on visual storytelling.… With Wick—the best Reeves role in years, and the best existential actioner since Drive—Reeves fans have found something that should cheer them up, too.” – Forrest Wickman, Slate
John Wick is currently in wide release.
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