Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Movie Review: John Wick

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: A few individual moments of laughs and action
Cons: Overall, the movie is a poorly written mess
The Bottom Line:
He’s out for revenge
Extremely poorly written
You can pass on it

“How Good Is Your Laundry?”  “No One’s That Good.”

I had no real interest in watching John Wick.  I don’t do revenge movies as a general rule (a few slip in that I wind up enjoying), and this one just didn’t appeal to me.  But when my two friends both decided to watch it, I gave in to peer pressure.

The story follows John Wick (Keanu Reeves) a former assassin who gave up everything to marry the woman he loves.  But when she dies and John is still grieving, Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) goes after him to steal his car, killing the new dog John just got from his late wife in the bargain.  Now John is out for revenge.  The people who he is gunning for know what to expect since Iosef’s father, Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), used to be John’s boss.  Will John get his revenge?

I have issues with the premise of revenge movies in general.  It’s one thing if someone is out to rescue a family member, but to root on someone killing people to get revenge goes against so much morally.  So right away, I wasn’t on board with that.  And, as much as John was grieving, to go after these people for stealing his car and killing a puppy?  I get it, the puppy is cute, and he was a gift from John’s late wife.  But still.  There really is no justification for the violence to come.

Leaving that aside, this is just a ludicrous movie.  Very little thought was put into the script.  Honestly, as I was watching the film, I couldn’t believe that, out of the thousands of movies that get submitted and reject by Hollywood, this one somehow got beyond the gate keepers to get made.  The dialogue was so horrible.  It was beyond laughable to cringe worthy at times.  It makes the Hallmark mystery movies I watch seem like well written, award worthy masterpieces by comparison.

Then there are the characters.  To say they are cardboard is to insult cardboard.  We know very little about them, and we just follow John around as he goes about getting his revenge.  I don’t need a complicated backstory, but a little bit of connection to something or someone would help.  Or maybe emotion from John.

Yes, part of that problem might have been the actors, but that would mean the entire cast was acting robotically.  I know there are some good actors in the cast, but they just didn’t have much to work with.  Still, I do feel that Keanu Reeves could have given us a little more emotion at times.  I have a feeling this was an acting choice, but if so, it was one that didn’t benefit the movie.

If you want mindless action, you’ll find this movie is perfect for you.  As I was watching with my friends, we had to keep reminding each other to not ask the obvious questions that the screen writers ignored as the plot unfolded.

It should also be pointed out that this movie gets its R rating from this almost constant violent action, although there is some foul language as well.

The movie does have great individual moments and stunts.  However, most of the time, the action is so large and over-the-top that it gets ridiculous.

While there are some pretty obvious unintentional laughs in the movie, there are also some fun moments that made us laugh on purpose.

And my friends and I had some fun mocking the movie, so I definitely enjoyed that part of it.

Still, the fact that John Wick has started a franchise is beyond me.  I just don’t see the appeal.  But I will be finding out if the franchise gets better as it goes along.  It’s hard to imagine it getting worse.

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