Keanu Reeves is a strange one…
People have joked for years about his acting talent (or perceived lack thereof) and has constantly had down as the “dude” guy.
Unfair? Not always, as anyone who’s seen Bram Stoker’s Dracula would sadly agree, but the truth is far more simple and yet far more interesting.
Keanu Reeves is probably the greatest human special effect in cinema since Schwarzenegger.
Cast him wrong and you’ll have no end of cinematic atrocities. But cast him right?…
Bill & Ted? Point Break? Speed? The Matrix? Literally NO ONE could have done those roles more justice.
Confused hero, innocent dufus, driven adrenaline junkie. You need any of these? Get Reeves and you’ve cast perfectly.
And this (finally) brings us to John Wick, a ridiculously successful throwback to a more simpler brand of actioner.
John is an ex hitman who had achieved legendary status before leaving the life for love. When his wife succumbs to illness she leaves him a puppy as a way to channel his grief. However, when the over-zealous son of a mob boss takes a liking to John’s admittedly awesome muscle car with fatal consequences, Wick dusts off his massive armoury to exact his revenge… On everyone.
The secret to how special an action film John Wick is, is how unspecial it is. You’ve literally seen this type of flick a million times before but the execution (VERY apt word) is the key. Filmed with a wry sense of knowing humour that never actively winks at the audience the economy of the action mirrors the character himself. No action or move is wasted. Every punch, every gunshot, every glare is measured perfectly to create a simple kick ass thrill ride. No MTV, Michael Bay, rapid style edits here.
Reeves is surrounded by an entertaining supporting cast which not only contains Willem Dafoe, Ian Mc Shane and Michael Nvqvist (all having tremendous fun) but vast amounts of actors from every class TV show from the last 5 years.
But ultimately this is Keanu’s show and he embraces it so well it acts as a metaphor for his career almost as well as Rocky’s sixth installment does for Stallone.
Fast, violent, old school, stupidly cool.
Miss this? You’ll be off your Wick.