The A.V. Club describes John Wick as an action fantasy, noting that unlike most action movies, this one takes place in a completely self-contained world. In this revenge movie, criminals only associate with criminals, paying with their own currency, staying in their own boutique hotels and living (and dying) by their own code. Despite the oodles of bullets flying around, no innocent bystanders get hurt - even in a nightclub scene that made me slightly squirmy, given recent horrible real life events - the bad guys only take out the badder guys. There is something comfortable about watching John Wick: bad stuff happens but it will never reach us.
Keanu Reeves was born to play John Wick, a retired hitman who is drawn back into the business when a young thug (GoT's Alfie Allen, who surely would like his next role to be a nice guy) steals his car and kills the beagle puppy his now-deceased wife gave him. Barely speaking, Wick digs out his guns and kills a whole crime family out of revenge. That's it. That's the plot. But the movie is shot artfully and is really quite beautiful. It's packed full of ringers too: Ian McShane, Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick and Adrianne Palicki all get a chance to be bad. It's fun.
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