Director Chad Stahelki2014 John Wick is a parody of an action movie. No. This doesn’t sound right. Maybe We Should Start With This Instead: Directed by Chad Stahelki, 2014 John Wick A serious fighter, like a few others. Yes, it doesn’t sound either … Stahelki John Wick both a parody of an action movie and a serious action movie. It’s a film about loss and what raw grief can lead to, but it’s not all that deep. It’s full of seriousness and amazingly choreographed action scenes, but it’s also absurd and funny.

John Wick is a gripping, beautifully filmed action movie

Image via Summit Entertainment

Starring Keanu Reeves as a retired hitman forced to return to the game due to the inconsistent actions of the spoiled son of a mafia boss, John Wick satirizes the numerous conventions of the action genre. It replaces murdered and/or kidnapped family members like Taken And death wish with a dead dog. It spins its protagonist to the point where he even has his own twisted horror movie-like lullaby. It has not one, but two plots about revenge. He creates an impossible world where the mercenaries have their own little society with their own currency and service industry. It has a minor character who strangles people with her hair for crying loudly! The film is full of gags, some discreet, others more direct, and it’s impossible to contain even a chuckle during scenes such as John nonchalantly greeting a hitman in an assassins-only hotel in the middle of a fight.


But, as is usually the case with any good action parody, John Wick it’s not all about jokes. It’s also a truly entertaining action movie with breathtaking pace and amazing action scenes led by fight coordinators. Jonathan Eusebio And John Valera. Of particular note are the first fight scene in John’s house and the one in the Red Circle nightclub, where the rhythm of the shots matches the rhythm of the music. The aforementioned scene in which John was nearly strangled by a woman’s hair? It’s as exciting as it is ridiculous. From car chases to hand-to-hand fights. John Wick there are action scenes for all fans of the genre, and they are all masterfully choreographed and filmed. Jonathan SelaThe cinematography leaves no room for confusion about what’s happening on screen, and the film’s full of contrasts colors lend a dreamy atmosphere to his action, making it all the more exciting. Again, the Red Circle scene comes to mind as the film’s climax, with its wonderful hues of reds, blues, and blacks and ballet camera moves. How John dances with Joseph Tarasov (Alfie Allen) and his henchmen, this is how the film dances with us.

Another aspect John Wick what deserves attention is its worldbuilding. Written Derek Kolstad, the story is full of little details that make you think about this supernatural universe inhabited by John and his colleagues. From the Continental Hotel to the gold coins that make up the only currency accepted in this underworld, the film is full of nuggets that point to the existence of a larger world that we simply don’t see in its entirety. It’s not hard to see how he spawned a four-film franchise with numerous fans dedicated to cataloging and understanding the details of his universe.

Why John Wick loses itself in a string of undeserved deaths

Adrianne Palicki as Miss Perkins in John Wick
Image via Summit Entertainment

But at the same time it becomes clear why John Wick earned as many sequels as he did, it can also be difficult to maintain interest in the film until the very end. You see John Wick peaks relatively early, somewhere around the hour mark. His last 40 minutes are somewhat boring, even if they are still full of gunshots, explosions and fights. The problem is that John Wick there is a main character who is too cool for his own good. After a while, seeing him get rid of enemies with little to no effort becomes repetitive. He was not even captured by the mafia boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyquist) is enough to break the cycle. Tarasov and his henchmen may look menacing, but you just know that John Wick is going to destroy them all in the blink of an eye – and not in the sense that “he’s a hero, so of course he’ll win.” path. You know he will succeed because, as the movie itself tells you, John has no real competition. Real rates are very low.

The fact that Viggo, as his latest villain, doesn’t work in the film does little to help his other half. Of course, there is a certain thematic sense to him being John’s real enemy: his son took someone John loved, and John took someone away from him; they were like-minded, maybe even good friends; they are both people marked by grief and guilt, and so on. However, the movie doesn’t really do anything to make us hate Viggo as much as we hated Josef. Of course he kills John’s friend Marcus (Willem Dafoe), but Marcus himself is not such a compelling character. It’s always sad when Willem Dafoe isn’t used enough in a movie, and in that sense John Wick real tragedy.

Death of Miss PerkinsAdrianne Palicki), the aforementioned hair strangler, feels just as undeserved. Possibly in a later part of the franchise with the world John Wick if it had been developed properly, we wouldn’t care if it broke the rules of the Continental. But in its current form, this tidbit of information seems extremely unimportant. Sure, as a scene, her death is by far the most impactful in the entire film, but as the end of a subplot, it doesn’t really matter. In fact, it’s hard to see why Perkins is even in the second half of the film.

But John WickThe biggest crime when it comes to the death of characters is the death of Iosif Tarasov. Let me line up with you real quick: before watching John Wick almost a decade after his release, I didn’t know they had killed his dog. Despite all the time I spend online, I have managed to misunderstand this spoiler. For some reason, I was under the impression that they had kidnapped the dog and that Wick’s entire journey was to get it back. When Josef killed Daisy with his own hands, I was horrified and wicked. I wanted to see this bastard pay, as I think most, if not all of you. Yet Josef’s death was so quick and unimpressive that I had to rewind to make sure it was he who was actually shot and not one of his henchmen. It’s the only death that actually feels deserved in the entire movie, but the pleasure of seeing Josef finally get his retribution is completely taken from us.

None of this takes away John Wickmerit. Overall, the film is still entertaining, gripping and often quite beautiful. And, as a parody, it is certain that John Wick manages to make us laugh at the absurdities of the action genre. But as a serious fighter, John Wick commits, perhaps, the most serious of sins: instead of going out with a bang, it slowly fades away, leaving the audience exhausted, not pumped up. This is perhaps a good first episode for a longer saga given how well it represents its universe and its protagonist. But as a standalone film, it feels like something is missing.

Rating: B