When this film first came out, I dismissed it as a generic-looking action film. Since then, it has been recommended to me numerous times, so I picked it up a couple of months ago while it was on sale. I finally got around to watching it because I have been seeing the trailer for the sequel, which looks pretty cool. I must say that this is definitely a textbook case of "don't judge a book by its cover".
The film is actually a lot more well-made than I had expected. The film's plot pretty much follows the basic revenge thriller formula. What makes it succeed, however, is the character development. Within the first sixteen minutes of the film, the audience immediately attaches to Wick, so when the inciting incident occurs, we completely understand and sympathize with him. Keanu Reeves is perfectly cast as Wick, with the role designed for his skillset. Another part of the plot that I thought worked extremely well was the mythology of the film. The idea of the Continental Hotel and the underworld surrounding it were really unique and interesting, and I would love to see more about that.
The film also has a lot of well-done techncial elements. The cinematography is really good and fluid for an action film, as is the editing. The fight scenes are very well-choreographed, likely some of my favorite fight scenes of all time. The only thing that I din't particularly care for about the execution was the film's use of subtitles, which I thought was a little tacky. The font that was used for the subtitles was unusual and placed at abnormal places on the screen, rather than just at the bottom. The subtitles also seemed to emphasize certain words, and those words didn't necessarily need emphasis.
Overall, I thought that "John Wick" was a surprisingly good action film. Distracting, cheesy subtitles are really the only thing that is keeping me from bumping this up, because it is actually quite well-written and well-executed.
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: Digital that I own.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.