Directed by a a pair of stuntmen, John Wick is mindless, stylish nonsense and it does what it wants to do fairly well. Perhaps for the best, Keanu Reeves has little chance to do much acting, receiving barely a page of dialogue for the whole film, relying on high octane, violent squabbles based around an ex-hitman’s vengeance against the killers of his puppy. The cute canine was a posthomous gift from his dead wife and the only thread of emotional attachment for the whole film, which hangs together slightly. The puppy killers are led by Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), dopey son of Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), who just happens to be Wick’s former boss and that’s about as deep as the story goes.
For what it is, something stupid and wholly unoriginal, it is enjoyable, full of an incessant assortment of fights which rarely get dull. It has intentions to be something like The Raid but never gets near those heights. It’s nevertheless a stylishly filmed, popcorn-stuffed and utterly throwaway romp and possibly Keanu’s most enjoyable outing in quite some time.
Review by David Rank
John Wick is out on 10/3/15 in the UK. Running time 101 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).