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September 18, 2017

John Wick (2014) --- "They Stole His Car And Killed His Dog. You'll Never Believe What He Does Next!"

Plot Summary
Legendary assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) retired from his violent career after marrying the love of his life. Her sudden death leaves John in deep mourning. When sadistic mobster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) and his thugs steal John's prized car and kill the puppy that was the last gift from his wife, John unleashes the remorseless killing machine within and seeks vengeance. Meanwhile, Iosef's father (Michael Nyqvist) -- John's former colleague -- puts a huge bounty on John's head. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     John Wick (2014) was helmed by two ex-stunt men, Chad Stahelski (The Matrix stunts) and David Leitch (Bourn Ultimatum stunts), which allowed for there to be more practical effects rather than rely on a green screen a lot of the time. Both did an amazing job at co-directing this film, which is to expected considering that they have worked together in the stunt department for films like 300 (2006) and V for Vendetta (2005). Also considering Stahelski was once Keanu Reeves’ stunt double it allowed for a level of familiarity which gave the directors a base knowledge of how far they could push Reeves. This resulted in the action scenes being clean, stylish, realistic, and entertaining.

     Every single action sequence is fast paced and fluid as well as beautifully shot and intense so you never have trouble understanding what just happened. It’s all laid out in front of you and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy it. While the plot is simple to follow and it succeeds in delivering what it set out to do, it works sufficiently in setting up a situation where the rest of the greatness can happen. The writing (Derek KolstadJohn Wick 2) is great as there are no melodramatic story lines but instead, everything is straight and to the point, much like the main character. John Wick (2014) is a combination of Liam Neeson’s Taken (2008) and Bruce WillisDie Hard films but with a whole lot less dialogue and the mortality of John Wick’s characters is much more believable than the main characters in Die Hard and Taken. He’s not an invincible superhero that just won’t die but instead, he is a man out for revenge with pretty much nothing left to lose but his own life and even then he’s willing to sacrifice that as well.
     Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, 47 Ronin) was the perfect person to play John Wick and he steals the show with his blank expression and leaves the majority of the acting to the bad guys. This is a nice change because it would have become boring if his character spent a lot of actions scenes talking smack, like Jason Statham or Bruce Willis. Here he displays a great amount of range in his portrayal of John Wick, which I have not seen from him in some time and he does all this with very little dialogue. Clearly, this is one of his best performances in a while and as his character states, he’s back.
     Overall, John Wick (2014) succeeds by being a thrilling and dazzling action film in all its simplicity. The fact that this film was helmed by two-ex stunt men is a plus and adds a level of practicality to the film without having to rely heavily on green screen. If they don’t need – or if a stunt person can do the scene – then they won’t use it. The story is simple to follow but still has structure and there is not an overload of unnecessary drama. John Wick is an absolute must see action film and it easily ranks as one of the few pure action films of 2014.

“ I'm retired.”
- John Wick

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch John Wick (2014).

Movies Similar 
3 Days to Kill (2014)
The Accountant (2016)
Colombiana (2011)
Collied (2016)
The Equalizer (2014)
John Wick 2 (2017)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
Taken (2009)
Taken 2 (2012)
Taken 3 (2015)
Transporter (2002)
Transporter 2 (2005)
Transporter 3 (2008)
Transporter Refueled (2015) 

Cast & Crew
 Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
Writing Credits Derek Kolstad 
Produced by 
Darren Blumenthal        ---        executive producer
Sam X. Eyde                   ---        executive producer
Tara Finegan                  ---        executive producer
Kevin Scott Frakes         ---        executive producer
Basil Iwanyk                   ---        producer
Peter Lawson                  ---        executive producer
Erica Lee                         ---        executive producer
David Leitch                   ---        producer
Noel Lohr                        ---        co-producer
Eva Longoria                  ---        producer
Doug Monticciolo           ---        co-producer
Andrew C. Robinson      ---        executive producer
Raj Brinder Singh          ---        executive producer
Jared Underwood          ---        executive producer
Mike Upton                     ---        executive producer
Joseph Vincenti              ---        executive producer
Jamie Wing                    ---        co-producer
Mike Witherill                ---        producer
Stephen Hamel              ---        executive producer
Keanu Reeves                ---        executive producer
Chad Stahelski               ---        producer
Cinematography by Jonathan Sela
Production Design by Dan Leigh
Keanu Reeves                      ---        John Wick
Michael Nyqvist                  ---        Viggo Tarasov
Alfie Allen                             ---        Iosef Tarasov
Willem Dafoe                       ---        Marcus
Dean Winters                      ---        Avi
Adrianne Palicki                 ---        Ms. Perkins
Omer Barnea                       ---        Gregori
Toby Leonard Moore        ---        Victor
Daniel Bernhardt               ---        Kirill
Bridget Moynahan              ---        Helen
John Leguizamo                 ---        Aurelio
Ian McShane                        ---        Winston
Bridget Regan                      ---        Addy
Lance Reddick                     ---        Hotel Manager / Charon
Keith Jardine                       ---        Kuzma
Tait Fletcher                         ---        Nicholai
Kazy Tauginas                      ---        Ivan
Alexander Frekey               ---        Alexander
Thomas Sadoski                 ---        Jimmy
David Patrick Kelly            ---        Charlie
Clarke Peters                       ---        Harry
Kevin Nash                           ---        Francis
Vladislav Koulikov             ---        Pavel 

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