John Wick (1-3)

JOHN WICK (18)
D: Chad Stahelski (& David Leitch)
Summit/Thunder Road (Basil Iwanyk, David Leitch, Michael Witherill, James McTeigue & Eva Longoria)
US 2014
101 mins

Action/Thriller

W: Derek Halstead
DP: Jonathan Sela
Ed: Elisabeth Ronalds
Mus: Tyler Bates


Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Michael Nyqvist (Viggo Tarasov), Alfie Allen (Iosef Tarasov), Adrianne Palicki (Ms. Perkins), Bridget Moynahan (Helen Wick)

Taken-lite action thriller staring Keanu Reeves as the title character, a former mob hitman who wants revenge on the gangsters who kill his dog.
It's actually better than it sounds, with plenty of action and a cold, emotionless performance that suits the lead actor's skillset.
For action fans, this is a refreshing change from the frenetically edited fight scenes which were brought about by the Bourne movies, as this adopts a more balletic, expertly choreographed style where you can actually make out what the hell is going on.
A sequel followed in 2017 (see below).
6/10

Keanu Reeves in John Wick
Keanu Reeves in John Wick

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (18)

D: Chad Stahelski

Lionsgate/Summit/Thunder Road/87 Eleven (Basil Iwanyk & Erica Lee)

US 2017

122 mins


Action/Thriller


W: Derek Kolstad

DP: Dan Laustsen

Ed: Evan Schiff

Mus: Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard


Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Riccardo Scamarcio (Santino D'Antonio), Ian McShane (Winston), Ruby Rose (Ares), Common (Cassian), Claudia Gerini (Gianna D'Antonio), Laurence Fishburne (The Bowery King), Peter Stormare (Abram Tarasov)


John Wick: Chapter 2 starts where the first movie left off and wastes no time as the former hitman goes about beating up the bad guys to get his stolen car back. If you want character development, that's all you're gonna get.

Wick is then visited by Santino D'Antonio, the gangster who allowed Wick to retire on the condition that he is granted one last favour... and now is the time for that favour to be extended.

The hitman reluctantly travels to Rome to carry out his mission only to become double-crossed and find himself on a hit list when he returns back to New York soil.

Storywise, the plot of this sequel has many of the tropes you'd come to expect from this kind of genre (unlike a man exacting revenge for the murder of his dog) although it does become increasingly silly as the film goes on.

As with the first film, the action scenes are brilliantly choreographed and directed, assisted by some rather amazing cinematography for an action movie, as well as exhilarating music and good editing.

The film leaves it open for chapter 3, expected imminently...

6/10


Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2
Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2
Every action has consequences
Every action has consequences

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM (15)

D: Chad Stahelski

Lionsgate/Summit/Thunder Road/87 Eleven (Basil Iwanyk & Erica Lee)

USA 2019

131 mins


Action/Thriller


W: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins & Marc Abrams

DP: Dan Laustsen

Ed: Evan Schiff

Mus: Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard


Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Ian McShane (Winston), Mark Dacascos (Zero), Laurence Fishburne (The Bowery King), Halle Berry (Sofia), Jerome Flynn (Berrada), Anjelica Huston (The Director)


With backstory and character development (or the closest thing to it) already ticked off in the first two movies the third John Wick movie cuts straight to the chase, as Keanu Reeves' assassin becomes a $14m target himself and tries to escape New York City (where EVERYONE appears to be a rival hitman) with his life.

His journey takes him to Morocco, where he tries to make things right, before returning to New York City for the big showdown.

Like the previous two movies, suspension of disbelief is very much needed for a movie which is very much carried by expertly crafted and choreographed action scenes which will make you both laugh and grimace (sometimes simultaneously). It gets more and more ridiculous as the film goes on, but that will only bother you if you're watching this for the story (which was always going to be far-fetched). 

Once again, it's a chapter which ends without tying up all the loose ends, so a chapter 4 is inevitable. Personally, I think it's a shame that both this and the second film end so openly, they should at least attempt to close off some of the story strands. I guess monetary gain from sequels supersedes storytelling nowadays.

6/10


Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3
Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3