Review: John Wick

As John Wick (Keanu Reeves) walks through a neon nightclub, picking off enemies one-by-one in an overly-elaborate fashion, it’s clear to see that “The Matrix” star is back… and he’s back with a vengeance.

In this revenge thriller, John Wick is a legendary assassin who retired from his violent career after marrying the love of his life, though her sudden death leaves him in deep mourning.

Unaware of the assassin’s violent past, sadistic mobster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) and his thugs steal John Wick’s prized car and kill the puppy that was a departing gift from his wife.

Fuelled by revenge, John Wick unleashes the remorseless killing machine within. All the while, Iosef’s father (Michael Nyqvist) — John’s former colleague — puts a huge bounty on his head.

Directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, who were previously stunt doubles for Reeves in “The Matrix”, ensure cinemagoers are thoroughly entertained with brilliantly executed action sequences, thrills and well-timed laughs to break up the nail-biting tension.

In this modern age of cinema, it’s refreshing to see the intricate choreography speaking for itself, as opposed to relying on over-the-top camera work and editing to enhance it.

As for the rest of the cinematography, Jonathan Sela manages to incorporate a strong sense of saturation and claustrophobia – reflective of John Wicks’ mood. This is complemented by the soundtrack from Tyler Bates and Joel Richard, which varies from massive rock riffs to pulsing house music.

After a number of underwhelming outings at the box office, John Wick is a welcome return to form for Keanu Reeves. For the duration of the film’s 100 minute running time, he makes his presence felt with an abundance of physical endurance,.

Reeves is joined by an extremely strong ensemble, including the aforementioned Alfie Allen and Michael Nyqvist, alongside Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki and Dean Winters.