Lowdown: They killed his dog and stole his car. This time, it’s personal.
If you ever wondered whether something as tiny as the eye of a needle can serve as the basis for an entire movie to rest on, then John Wick is your answer. As in, yes, it can; but no, do not expect much of that movie.
Keanu Reeves is our hero, John Wick, who starts the movie losing his wife to cancer. That wife leaves him a farewell gift so he’s not alone in grieving: a puppy. Alas, the spoilt son of the local Russian mafia branch (a typecast Alfie Allen, of Game of Thrones fame) fancies Wick’s classic Ford Mustang and comes stealing it, killing the puppy while at it. The rest of the movie is all about Wick executing his revenge.
Yes, they messed with the wrong guy, and even the head of the mafia knows that (Michael Nyqvist, the journalist from the original Swedish Girl with Dragon Tattoo). Thus what follows is an hour plus of Wick executing bad guys with much panache and very little regard for human life. The body count here is truly massive, in direct inverse correlation to any shred of sense. And that, really, is all there is to this movie.
The real mystery behind John Wick is why. Why do the likes of Reeves or Willem Dafoe take part in such a silly escapade? I suspect the answer is “money” and the role model in the minds of the studio powers that be was Taken.
Overall: Redundant, shallow and repetitive, John Wick earns a weak 2.5 out of 5 crabs (after throwing in a “so stupid it’s funny” bonus).