Movie #21 2020: John Wick (2014)

Keanu Reeves as John Wick

Just when you thought you were sick of franchises, along comes John Wick.

What’s odd about this as a franchise is that it’s not overly original in terms of theme, and there’s nothing particularly different to literally any other action movie you’ve ever seen… but who cares?

Is it the best movie ever? Nope. Is it even the best action movie ever? Nope. What about the best revenge movie ever? Still no. But is it good and wildly entertaining? It sure as hell is.

Although personally I’m quite sure I’ve only ever seen Keanu Reeves in the Matrix trilogy, his characterisation in this is brilliant. As a character with very little dialogue, Reeves manages to portray his emotions using facial expressions alone for much of the film, and the supporting cast does a pretty good job too.

Something else that is particularly notable here is how original the fight sequences are. What Wick does excellently is turn it’s action scenes into something fresh. The choreography on display is very authentic and exciting, and upon further research I found out that it was led by stunt co-ordinator Jonathan Eusebio. Eusebio has worked on other powerhouse productions including Doctor Strange, Black Panther, The Bourne Supremacy and TV series Angel. More recently, he has been responsible for the excellent combat montages in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. I think most readers will agree that he is a force to be reckoned with, as part of the success of each of these movies was the way the stunts were organised. This movie’s best action sequence sees John fight off a bunch of undercover agents in a nightclub, which had a strong Crazy 88 Kill Bill nuance to it, just with bullets instead of swords.

Once again, this is just another action franchise. But guess what? I’ve since watched John Wick 2, so they must be doing something right.

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