My friend Doug and I had not met up in a very long while to hang out. A few months ago, we did meet up for dinner and drinks, but nothing more recent. Guess everyone is super busy these days as we get older. We attempted to see Interstellar last weekend, but I was pretty tired. We met up last Friday night near Union, NJ to watch John Wick, Keanu Reeves latest film.
Now, I will admit that I am still feeling a little burned by his last film. Doug and I went to see 47 Ronin last December. You may remember that I felt it was no tour de force in the art of film. There were a lot of problems with that film. I couldn’t remember the last time I watched a good, entertaining film starring Keanu Reeves. The man has certain acting skills — acting remote and detached. I guess he has that whole ‘Sad Keanu’ meme down to a science.
I didn’t have a lot of background information about this film going in, except that someone killed his dog. My expectations were mild at best.
I was pleasantly surprised. This was a pretty good, entertaining action film. Directed by two stunt directors, the wafer – thin revenge plot is forgotten and forgiven by the almost ballet – like action scenes. I mean really, it’s a revenge flick. Keanu plays John Wick, and the film starts out at his young wife’s funeral, as she has died after a long illness. She orders him a beagle puppy to help assuage the pain after her death. A very cute and endearing puppy. After only what seems like a day or two, John is feeling some hope in life, some brightness in the dark.
Sadly, a chance run in with some thugs at a gas station one morning, and one eyes his prized ’69 Ford Mustang. This results in a home invasion at his house later that night. These three thugs beat him, mercilessly kill the puppy, and steal his prized Mustang. After John buries the dog the next morning, we soon learn that the thugs are part of the NYC Russian Mob. In fact, the ringleader, Iosef, is the son of this particular Mob Boss. And John Wick is a now retired master hit man who used to work for this same Mob Boss.
So begins the revenge plot as John learns the identity of these three thugs, and comes out of retirement to exact painful revenge. Although he does not plan to come after the Russian Mob, the Boss decides that he needs to protect his son, and sends the Mob after John Wick.
It isn’t a complicated film. There are no significant revelations or big reveals. It is a tight simple story with a lot of good action.