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resurgam40
Jul 22, 2007

Battler, the literal stupidest man on earth. Why are you even here, Battler, why did you come back to this place so you could fuck literally everything up?

Directed by: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves

The trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0BMx-qxsP4

Another year, another Keanu Reeves action vehicle. John Wick is the first directing endeavor by former stuntmen David Leitch and Chad Stahesky; it opened last weekend to a respectable showing, didn't quite beat out Ouija, but still made a cool 14.42 Mil on the first weekend. I caught the matinee on Tuesday on pretty much a whim; I mean, it's directed by the stunt/martial arts coordinators of The Matrix and Fight Club and 300 and pretty much every other western post 90's action movie you've ever heard of, so you know the action has to be good, right? Well, I am happy to report that not only is the action very solid, but the rest of the film is very well done as well.

The son of a powerful Russian mob boss (Alfie Allen, of Game of Thrones fame) covets the sweet ride of a seeming nobody (Reeves) he sees at a gas station, so he breaks into the nobody's house with a bunch of hoods to steal it, in the process beating him up and, unfortunately, killing his dog. When the aforementioned mob boss (Michael Niqvist) hears of this, he reveals that this was a very, very big mistake on his son's part: the "nobody" is actually John Wick, a former hitman of the boss' employ who was so talented and so dreaded that he was called Baba-Yaga, after the famous witch of Russian legend. Wick was not so much a boogyman, as he was the guy you sent to kill the boogyman. And for reasons the film makes clear, he loved his cute little doggy. So you can probably guess what happens next.

So: I loved this movie, and I'm going to tell you why. Not only is it an action movie that is NOT a sequel, prequel or tie-in to some other massive franchise (I know, shocking, right?), nor is it the start of some new multimillion dollar franchise (at least, not yet), but it's a really fine example of something I fear we might be losing in todays cinema: visual storytelling. None of the clunky modern tricks of exposition are utilized for information- no text dumps, narration of thoughts or backstory, recaps, someone turning to his companion/the screen to explain a chatracters thoughts or motivations or why such and such is the thing they would do, etc. The story, including the characters, their relationships to each other, and the world in which they live, is told purely through the characters actions and dialogue to and about each other. That is so refreshing. Part of this is due to the relatively simple nature of the story, which is the standard revenge plot, one that we've already seen before and doesn't really require artifice, but most of it has to do with the strong acting. Say what you will about Keanu Reeves, but he is really good in this kind of role, and the rest of the cast is a veritable who's who of action stars- Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane, Adrianne Palicki, John Leguizamo, among others- who have all been involved with this sort of movie before and for the most part do half the work of characterization just by showing up. Plus, the film is perfectly paced and at 100 minutes doesn't overstay its welcome.

Overall, this is not a movie that's transcendent in any way; there's no commentary on race or gender or society, no great mystery to be solved, no sudden twist or paradigm shift to reconstitute the narrative, it's not gonna make you think about life the universe and everything. It's pretty much the definition of a popcorn flick, really. But what it is is a rock-solid piece of action storytelling that certainly kept me entertained for an afternoon, and it's the perfect antidote to all the overwrought, over-stimulating spectacles that end up 2 1/2 hours long because the director couldn't bear to hurt his baby (I am looking straight at you, Peter Jackson, you and your "THE DEFINING CHAPTER!" bs...) Recommended.

4/5

PROS: Great action, acting, visual storytelling
CONS: While the worldbuilding is complete, it is a little spare on the details outside the story, which i'd have liked to have known more. Also, while you don't see the act, just the aftermath, this film does contain the death of a puppy, so trigger warning.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2911666/?ref_=hm_cht_t2

resurgam40 fucked around with this message at 13:13 on Dec 18, 2015

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LionYeti
Oct 11, 2008





Grimey Drawer

I just saw it today and it's a ton of fun. This is not high art but its an expertly put together action movie. Keanu is perfect for the role and still has it and the supporting cast is top notch.4.5/5

Tiny
Oct 26, 2003
My leg hurts....

I enjoyed this movie enough to see it twice. I had no idea it was directed by a former stuntman, but now that I know, I can appreciate his decisions. Cars fall off hundred-foot cliffs and don't explode. In fact, NOTHING in this movie explodes unless there is an explicit bomb involved. People get shot in the chest and don't instantly die, but struggle to take one last shot from the ground before they expire. It's almost like it was made by someone who was utterly sick of the common Hollywood action tropes, and I rather like that.

If you've seen Man On Fire or Equalizer, you're already familiar with this movie. Old reformed badass has the rug ripped out from under him, loses his reason to live, and with nothing left to lose goes to back to his former ways and kills everyone for our viewing enjoyment, with some character development along the way. It is a truly enjoyable "Guy Movie". It's also a perfectly valid response to someone killing your dog.

Pros:
Brutal action scenes with amazing choreography. Lots of grappling and throws, but no chop-socky. They're fighting over the gun, the loser gets shot and then dies, often from another shot to the face after the protagonist has hit another few people in the chest.
Very decent acting. Willem DaFoe could have been a lot more, but he nailed it every time his face was on screen. Reeves did his thing and didn't suck, for this role. I kinda liked the fact that they made no effort to hide his bad lower teeth during his rant, it humanized him.
I'm a sucker for revenge-plot movies, and this scratched my itch.

Cons:
"Was this a comic-book movie?" asked my date, as we were walking out. She wanted to know WTF was the deal with the coins, and so did I.
I feel like they left a few parts out.
The movie makes a big deal of John sledgehammering his basement floor to reveal a case full of pistols and coins. We never get told what those coins represent. Sometimes they're worth life/death, and sometimes they're used in vending machines to get into a bar. But we're never told what they're actually for.
Where did he get the hardware? In the middle of the movie, he shows up with a super-expensive assault rifle, and uses it to great effect. Where did that come from?
He also apparently car-bombs the 3 getaway vehicles of his main target... but all we see is him pushing a button and cars blowing up. How the gently caress did he get in there and plant them? Plot Magic?

Overall I'd give this film a 5/5 on amusement, and a 4/5 on execution.

Amish
Nov 26, 2004

Murder is on the menu.

I saw this with some co-workers while on travel a couple weeks ago.

I thought it was quite well done execution-wise and the directing was passable for the type of film it was. It reminded me of a competent hodge-podge of different things I've seen before (particularly films like Wanted, Lucky Number Slevin, a smattering of Collateral, maybe even a little bit of the Blade series thrown in) without anything really interesting layered on top. The plot did a good job at humanizing John Wick before sending him off the Terminator end of "murderous rampaging robot" end of the spectrum, either way.

People posting in this thread talked a lot about world-building, which I would have appreciated and would have elevated the experience significantly, I think. With all the action scenes, though, I'm not surprised they couldn't really fit it.

3/5, an above average action/revenge flick that does little to distinguish itself from a crowded field.

darthzeta88
May 30, 2013

The newer VLC sucks cause of memory leaking. Also I use VLC on my phone. I haven't rebuilt a font cache since last year.

About those coins they are pure gold and have been classically associated with assassins and the under world. Movie is a 5/5

dwarkanath
Oct 1, 2014

A plethora of infinities.


Holy poo poo that scene with this SONG.

Lemon
May 22, 2003



This is the new gold standard for action movies.

This is the new Commando/Predator/Aliens for kids who are 14/15 years old and in 20 years time will be thinking why can't anyone make a film like John Wick anymore?

The backstory is left to your imagination, not everything is spelled out for you and it's for the better because nothing could be more bad-rear end than the half-imagined stories that you come up with yourself and this is what the film is about, the ultimate bad-rear end experience. Whilst there are no great mysteries contained in it I really appreciate that it doesn't explain every little detail.

A lot of films have tried to recreate the 80s action movie, some have parodied it and Stallone and Schwarzenegger have both come back and tried to re-live it, but John Wick has taken that same experience and moved it on and I can only hope that more films will follow it's lead.

5/5

BOAT SHOWBOAT
Oct 11, 2007

who do you carry the torch for, my young man?

What is the Absolute? Something that appears to us in fleeting experiences--say, through the gentle smile of a beautiful woman, or even through the warm caring smile of a person who may otherwise seem ugly and rude. In such miraculous but extremely fragile moments, another dimension transpires through our reality. As such, the Absolute is easily corroded;it slips all too easily through our fingers and must be handled as carefully as a butterfly

2.3/5

u brexit ukip it
Oct 30, 2004


Exciting Lemon

This is basically Max Payne: The Movie, and I'm saying that as someone who has seen the actual Max Payne movie (which sucks). Stylish revenge-action film, very well made. 4/5.

kloa
Feb 14, 2007




Lemon posted:

This is the new gold standard for action movies.

This is the new Commando/Predator/Aliens for kids who are 14/15 years old and in 20 years time will be thinking why can't anyone make a film like John Wick anymore?

The backstory is left to your imagination, not everything is spelled out for you and it's for the better because nothing could be more bad-rear end than the half-imagined stories that you come up with yourself and this is what the film is about, the ultimate bad-rear end experience. Whilst there are no great mysteries contained in it I really appreciate that it doesn't explain every little detail.

A lot of films have tried to recreate the 80s action movie, some have parodied it and Stallone and Schwarzenegger have both come back and tried to re-live it, but John Wick has taken that same experience and moved it on and I can only hope that more films will follow it's lead.

5/5

This is what I enjoyed about it so much. Most movies try to throw in a love story/romance all half baked, watering down the movie experience.

Karnegal
Dec 24, 2005

Is it... safe?


Just saw this on blu ray. As others have said, it's a pretty stock revenge story with some impressive visuals. The star of the show are the fight scenes (which is pretty much 60% of the film). Having seen countless action films, there were still some pretty novel bits of fighting which was refreshing.

There were a couple laughs to be had, but the plot was paper thin. Alfie Allen's role felt too close to his role as Theon in Game of Thrones. Obviously it was a bit of a type cast, but I found it a little distracting at times.


If you aren't looking for a story, it's a great diversion.

3/5

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

A great return for Keanu Reeves. I enjoyed how quick it got to the point and didn't let go from there. Haven't enjoyed an action movie like this since the first Taken.

5/5

pigdog
Apr 23, 2004

by Smythe


This is a movie about a gigantic douchebag in plot armor killing hundreds of people, because he's too much of a dick to finish a phonecall.

Never have I rooted for "bad" guys more than in this film. But obviously nothing was going to happen to Keanu Reeves because it's a lovely conveyor belt action movie, so watching it was basically torture.

1/5 , it's technically well made I guess.

pigdog fucked around with this message at 10:56 on Jun 7, 2015

rejutka
May 28, 2004

by zen death robot


Eh, you'll have seen this movie by the time you get to this review. This is a rock solid genre piece with a good script (bar one scene that seems forced in by the money), a good cast and good direction. And good lighting, cinematography, set dressing, et cetera...

Did I mention good stunts?

Keanu Reeves plays a retired headshot-dispensing death machine who comes out of retirement for reasons you agree with. This movie knows you've seen this poo poo before even if you haven't and just gets on with things.

You know the way you skip chapters to get to the things you want to see? This movie has a high incidence of you mean to skip but don't because you keep watching it is so well made.

From the straight-forward of scenes to the gloriously esoteric - solid gold favours made an actual gold coin currency - to lovingly sketched minor characters aka world's most sensible henchman and chief henchman irked constantly by basic language barriers, you just keep watching with a big smile on your face.

My biggest regret is when I watched this for the first time, I had no-one to high-five/bro-fist.

3.5/5 as a movie but 5/5 for action genre movie.

ex post facho
Oct 25, 2007




I watched this movie unspoiled about a week ago and was blown away. Absokutely fantastically executed simple revenge story. 4.75/5. Just wish there was a little more to the denouement.

I also found the track from the red circle club scene (Kaleida - Think) and have been listening to it non-stop.

Never mess with a man's puppy.

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Elentor
Dec 14, 2004



Only recently watched the series. I like the sum of the movies more than each individual part and I thought, as I watched this, "what is this slow rear end movie that's not going anywhere? This is a long rear end amount of character development and Keanu Reeves isn't exactly the person I want to see for 20 minutes of showing a bored dud -"

"oh."

"Oh."

"Oh shi-".

4/5. Wish it was better paced. -0.5 for pacing, +10 spiritual points for introducing Kaleida - Think in my life, which seems to be a common theme.

And despite my thinking that it could definitely be improved at parts for my own personal enjoyment this is undeniably the new gold standard for action movies.

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