Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yeah...I kind of enjoyed that.

Many years ago, there was a man. A mysterious individual, capable of doing amazing things that not everyone would have been proud of. In fact, his accomplishments turned many people away in disgust.

When you heard anyone say his name, you knew exactly whom they were speaking of. You didn't have to search your memory, you never confused him with someone else. In fact, just hearing his name, you were compelled, every single time, to utter the same one syllable word in a tone that suggested a sense of baffled amazement.

That man? Keanu Reeves. That word? I won't insult your intelligence.


Now, right now, there is another mysterious man capable of amazing things, but his name is f--king John Wick. And when you hear his name, and you hear what he's done, the only thing you utter is Oh. Because in this insanely kickass film from directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, that's all you've got time for. John's coming. And he's going to f--king kill you.

He sure as shit killed me.

I think it's safe to say that we all love a good revenge flick. And when those about to be revenged are some first-rate pieces of shit? Well it's even better. Here? It's borderline delightful. Sure we love John, but holy shit do we hate the people he's going to kill. Because not only did they steal his car and knock John around, but (and you know it's coming)...they killed his dog.

I'm not going to lie to you, even knowing that it was going to happen, I was still f--king devastated when the moment finally comes. It's so excruciating (and surprisingly touching) that I instantly wanted blood, too. John, after the death of his lovely wife, is given this adorable little dog to take care of, and the moment Daisy (aww) is gone, it's all too clear that he has nothing left. Absolutely nothing left. While he had desperately (and damn near literally) buried his previously unsavory life, he is forced back into it. He doesn't want to do it, and doesn't even take any joy in it, it's simply what must be done.

I'm convinced that this all sounds like cliche action-movie bullshit, the reluctant anti-hero forced out of retirement, but I'm telling you, in the hands of Reeves, it's just about perfect. John's not tying people up and swinging ropes into their balls - no. He is simply killing every motherf--ker possibly standing in his way of revenge. No one liners, no elaborate skill set. He's going to walk in. And he's going to shoot you in your head. If you're lucky, like, really, really lucky, you might get punched in the face first.

I think it's safe to say that Wick isn't a fan of dress-down day.
Clearly, the Best Picture Oscar is safe, but for an action movie on a Saturday afternoon, I can recall few rides wilder than this one. Keanu Reeves, seemingly long since disappeared from Hollywood, emerges as the perfect cold-blooded assassin (who we'll all proudly stand behind). I found myself not only rooting for John, but for Reeves too, as I feel he's been one of those guys I've gone to bat for for years.

The character of John Wick, on paper, may be just one-note enough to encourage Reeves' detractors, but there are a few scenes here that blew me away with their intensity. I really think this is a very good performance from Reeves. Really, really good. Sure, it's quite possible I'm getting carried away with my Ted Theodore Logan adoration, and maybe really, really good's not even saying much in the first place, but even with a little hype going in, I left the theater thinking one thing, and one thing only:

Whoa.

Never exciting, and quite possibly never eliciting a one syllable response (unless not this shit again can be said in one syllable), are the Yays and Boos. This might be the first time they've met Mr. Reeves, and I'm not gonna lie, they're fans. Big ones. 


Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!
  • So, now I know what to get for my family when I die. Thanks, John Wick.
  • I didn't really understand it, but driving around an airport like a bad-ass motherf--ker sure looked like fun.
  • When the worst thing ever happens, and John comes to, he wastes absolutely no time seeking vengeance. Trust me, this is awesome.
  • The rules. Whatever parallel universe this movie takes place in, sign me up. John f--king annihilates about a dozen guys in his (super sweet) house, and the cops show up. John is knee deep in bodies and covered in blood. Oh shit, right? Well, the officer, clearly a nice dude, kind of puts his hands up, and politely walks away. Ooop, sorry to bother you, John.
  • It should be noted here, this is the last time we see any semblance of law enforcement. Rad.
  • I'd like to make a dinner reservation for 12.
  • Gold coins. Fine, my name is Mario, so feel free to make your shitty joke now, but I was obsessed with the currency that the citizens of Wick-land trade in. Apparently Scrooge McDuck made his fortune by killing every person that ever died.
  • Ian McShane is in this movie. Feel free to stop reading now, as this is likely all you really needed to know. But if you're still here...so is Willem Dafoe. (Okay, now you can go)
  • But you know who else is, too? Mayhem! Yeah, that awesome guy from those Allstate commercials. Dean Winters, apparently, is fantastic in everything, as he routinely cracked me up here. Especially at the end. Well...his end.
  • I've gone on too long without mentioning the violence. It's fairly straightforward for the most part (bullet + head), but sometimes, it really goes the extra mile. I think stabbing a guy through the chin qualifies, as does running a guy over and shooting him repeatedly through the roof of your car as he tumbles over it does too.
  • What's up, doc? There's a doctor who helps stitch up John at one point, and he nails his two minutes in this movie. He talks about taking it easy so half-heartedly, it's hysterical. Clearly, this isn't his first rodeo.
  • And finally, in my favorite scenes of the movie, John gets to tell the main bad guy, why he has to kill everyone. It's fantastic. The words erupt from Reeves like f--king glass shards, man, and there was only one thing I could think of: Whoa.
If Ewan MacGregor was 19. And a dickhead.
Boooooo!
  • Look, Alfie Allen is probably a nice guy, but between you and me, he has the worst face ever. I couldn't wait for a bullet to enter it. (okay, even I think that sounds just awful)
  • What that little dog did...you know, before, still haunts me. I could probably rob a bank simply holding a still of that scene it's so emotionally crippling.
  • Off topic, but the lady behind me, was impossibly annoying. Whatever country she comes from, clearly they're not fans of shutting the f--k up. Though, to be quite honest, by the end, her enthusiasm kind of won me over. 
  • Whoa, whoa, whoa. John heads to a seedy, yet high-class club/spa full of Eastern European scumbags and it's titty-free? This breaks at least five Movie Rules, if not two or three state laws.
  • It's kind of ridiculous that the Bad Guy gets away from John. But, then again. I'm not really a fan of thirty-five minute movies, so I'm going to let that one slide.
  • And finally, you. And anyone else who didn't see this movie opening weekend. Okay, fine, not you, I really like you a lot. But all those people that saw f--king Ouija instead? F--k them. I hope they all choke on that stupid thing you slide around the board. The thing I was always moving, despite insisting otherwise.
I'm telling you right now, I want another John Wick. If we can get three Taken flicks, we sure as shit can get at least another Wick. Maybe even two. I don't even care if it's the exact same premise, just set it in a different location, okay?

It just better not have Jason Patric in it. 

8 comments:

  1. Aww, I like Alfie Allen, he's awesome on Game of Thrones. But yeah, his face is begging to get punched sometimes. Nice review!

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    1. Allen is actually awesome here, too. Just so much so that you literally want to punch him in the face and/or balls for about 90% of the film. It's a compliment...I think!

      Thanks!

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    2. I actually agree with both of you---when I saw Alfie Allen, for the first time in this movie, what I recalled was Theon Greyjoy. And I'm glad John Wick beat him out of his ass!

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    3. I don't know who Theron Greyjoy is, but I fully support just about anyone getting 'beat out of their ass'. Very much, in fact.

      Great comment!

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  2. Brittani, Thank you!! I was going crazy trying to figure out where I recognized that face from. Thanks to you, I'll be able to sleep tonight. :-P

    Mario, If I ever find time to get back to a movie theater, this will probably be the one because my husband really wants to see it. It was my idea to go to Gone Girl, so I kind of owe him. Even though he did like that movie, in spite of pointing out all the plot holes and errors in police procedure.

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    1. I think this is a great way to make everything even-steven. (do people still say that?)

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  3. 'John Wick's not high art, but it's a pretty tight revenge genre flick...Slick gun-fu action sequences, mixed with just enough story to keep it moving along at a smart pace...And Keanu was never given more than 2 contiguous lines of dialogue in any scene, which is a key element to his previous 'acting' successes.

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    1. I'm with this.

      It definitely works for Keanu, but I really think the few times he got to let loose (2+ consecutive sentences), he delivered. That scene when he was tied up? That was waaaaayyyy intense! Loved it.

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