John Wick, later known as John Wick: Chapter 1, is a 2014 American neo-noir, action film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch from a screenplay by Derek Kolstad. It stars Keanu Reeves, Micheal Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynhan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe. The first installment in the John Wick film series.
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 a 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.
Why It Rocks
- The concept of a retired hitman brought back to act revenge on the people that have done him wrong and his dog is very interesting.
- It distinguishes itself from other action/revenge films by straying from the cliched and mundane at every turn.
- The kinetic, stylized action scenes are well-shot and well-directed.
- The title character is described by a Russian mobster as the bogeyman and the way the directors have him efficiently and brutally dispatch those in his way makes you believe it.
- Keanu's performance as the grungy John Wick, performing his own stunts and generally bringing back a Neo-esque performance of his own styliztion.
- This movie is everything you want from an action blockbuster, real choreographed fight scenes, a simple yet vengeful story, interesting characters, and a badass protagonist.
- The highs and lows of the film are well balanced and the action sequences are directed with kinetic energy.
- The villains are pretty flat, personality and suspense-wise.
- Daisy's death may be too disturbing to some viewers.
John Wick enjoyed good reviews upon its release, attaining praise for the intensity of its action scenes and Keanu Reeves' performance. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 86% based on 196 reviews, and an average rating of 6.9/10. Its critical consensus reads, "Stylish, thrilling, and giddily kinetic, John Wick serves as a satisfying return to action for Keanu Reeves – and what looks like it could be the first of a franchise." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a "B" grade, on an A+ to F scale.