I thought John Wick was just going to be your basic shoot-em up car chase movie, not that there would have been anything wrong with that, but this movie turned out to be so much more. The writers created a rather unique “civilized” world of mafia types and freelance killers. The concept of “The Continental Hotel” was truly intriguing. A high end members only hotel where no “business” was allowed to be conducted within. Laundry services and a 24×7 doctor to patch up wounds. It reminded me in a way of “A Clean Well Lighted Place” which I read during High School. The concept of a clean safe place where trained killers from all over the world could recuperate after a job seems like something some MBA would have come up with by now.
There was only one thing I didn’t like about this movie. The opening scene is one from near the end of the movie. You get a little bit of that and then boom, you are back to the beginning. Movies and books which do that really honk me off. The audience is attempting to get invested in the movie/book and then they find out what they were trying to buy into isn’t going to happen for a long time.
For those who have watched many movies from different genres this movie will give you quite a bit of visceral pleasure. There are many faces and voices you will recognize from other things you’ve seen. Early on you get the feeling you are among friends.
John Wick Plot
The plot is straight forward. John Wick was once the best assassin in the business. A great line in the movie sums him up.
He’s the one you send to kill the boogieman.
He retires to marry a woman he loves. Not long after cancer takes the life of his beloved. As part of her will a handwritten note from her and a puppy are delivered to her husband. The puppy is provided so he will have someone to love and not grieve alone. While driving around in his 1969 mustang with the puppy a wanna be bad man decides he is going to steal the car. He and his crew sneak into John’s house beating him up and killing his puppy. From that point on he is a man driven by grief, rage and the rules of his old life.
All in all this is a great movie. Yes, there are lots of fight scenes, shooting, killing and a few car chases, but it is more than that. The stories of loyalty and integrity run through the film. There is even a very Normal Rockwell era “boy and his dog” quality to the film. A time when it was okay for a good man to do very bad things when he had the right reasons.
I’m glad a sequel got made of this and am looking forward to putting it on my rental list.