“John Wick” sees Keanu Reeves as the titular character in this slick vengeful action flick. So, is it a return to form for Keanu? Does it hold its own against other revenge thrillers? Most importantly, is it any good?


John Wick starts off simple – our titular character is in mourning over the recent loss of his wife. After receiving a final gift from her – a pet dog – he tries to move forward in his life. Out getting gas one day, his 1969 black mustang grabs the attention of an arrogant mobster’s son. After turning down any offers to purchase the car, John Wick is ambushed in his own home, his car stolen and dog killed. The thief’s father, who turns out to be John former employer sees the error of his son’s ways and asks John to not let this act become a violent retaliation. He knows better than to cross John, who turns out to be a masterful mob assassin trying to leave that world behind. Drawn back into the game for both the theft of the car and the death of his one last connection to his wife, John Wick is determined to get his vengeance and find peace again.



Keanu Reeves is in his element as John Wick, mowing through henchmen upon henchmen in effective and stylish methods. Moving away from the realm of swords and martial arts which have crowded Keanu’s resume in the last few year, this is purely a run and gun flick.  Dialogue has never been Keanu Reeves strongest element, so thankfully it takes a back seat to the superb stunt choreography this film offers. Other assassins played by Willem Dafoe and Adrienne Palicki help mix things up, as does Ian McShane’s character and his “Continental Hotel”. This alone proves to be an interesting mechanic to the film – a hotel for assassins where no ‘business’ can be conducted on the grounds.

First time directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski use their history of stunt work to craft amazing set pieces and some incredibly inventive gun scenarios – no henchmen seem to be safe from John and his arsenal of pistols and semi-automatics. Humour is used to lighten the mood in a number of sequences – which fits the plot of a revenge film being driven by the death of a dog.


Whilst John Wick is a fantastic ride, it does suffer towards the end of the film with the repeated action sequences. The fight scenes never seem to escalate, but rather stay consistently violent and stylish the whole way through. After the initial plot is set, the stakes never really rise and John just continues to plough through the mob again and again. Whilst this is in line with simplicity of the revenge plot, there doesn’t seem to be many moments in the film where we feel John overwhelmed or outnumbered.

A lot of comparisons will be made to other films in the genre, such as Taken, and whilst it probably doesn’t hold up as strongly as that flick, John Wick is a thrilling and enjoyable time at the pictures for fans of hard hitting action films.