About writing. And reading. And being published. Or not published. On working on being published. Tangents into the pop culture world to come. Especially about movies. And comic books. And movies from comic books.
Friday, March 6, 2015
John Wick (a movie review post)
I think the reason it really works is what I'm going to call the "asshole paradigm." See, Wick runs into an asshole. One of those entitled assholes who thinks it's okay to do whatever he wants to do so, when Wick tells him "no," the asshole has to wreck Wick's life. We've all run into those guys (and, yes, "guys" means men because it's almost always men) who think they should just get what they want by virtue of nothing more than who they are and who will resort to violence of some sort (not necessarily physical) to get it. Generally, we are unable to do anything about those people. Which is what makes Wick so great because, after the asshole does what he does, we find out who Wick used to be, and Wick goes after him. It's very... cathartic.
So, yeah, if you're not into action movies, this one isn't for you. If you're looking for a deep, meaningful, complicated story, this one isn't for you. This is pretty much as straightforward as you get. It's as straightforward as two kids on the playground who have a fight because one kid has a toy the other kid (the asshole) wants. But with bullets.
Keanu Reeves is perfect in this part. I mean, he's so perfect that there are, maybe, only one or two other actors who could slip into this role without looking like they were trying to wear a suit coat that just didn't really fit.
Speaking of other actors, all of the other actors in this were great. You might say that it shouldn't be a difficult job to have a small part in a movie like this, and that might be true, but it didn't stop all of them from fitting their roles like fingers into a glove. Of particular note were Alfie Allen (the asshole), Willem Dafoe (the wild card), Adrianne Palicki (whom I am liking more and more and I hope that Marvel goes all the way with her and actually turns her into Mockingbird), Lance Reddick (who is probably generally underrated), and Ian McShane (whom I just like). Oh, also, Clarke Peters (from The Wire along with Reddick and just very good).
These kinds of movies are what I would usually refer to as cotton candy. A lot of fluff but not a lot of substance. However, despite the fact that this movie is probably something like 85% action, it's backed by a kernel of solid story with enough hints at the back story to make it really intriguing. Basically, it escapes my cotton candy classification, and I will actually have to watch it again. It may even be a movie I need to own, which is saying a lot from me for an action movie.
So, if you like action flicks, I'd say that this one is a must-see.
I just hope they don't decide to do a sequel. If anything, go back and give us the back story, but this one feels complete and doesn't need anything after.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I almost caught it in the theater. Can't remember why I missed it. I don't mind simple if it's done right.ReplyDelete
Alex: I thought it had a cool poster, but it didn't occur to me to go see it. I wish I had seen it in the theater, though.Delete
Sounds fun. I was a little curious about it, but have been Reeves-shy since 47 Ronin.ReplyDelete
Alex H: I don't think that movie was his fault.Delete
I do like action films. Guess I'll have to check this one out.ReplyDelete
Someone at work recommended this one, so I might watch it. If it were Liam Neeson it would be a definite must watch.ReplyDelete
Maurice: I don't think Neeson could have pulled this one off. Neeson is kind of imposing in a way that Reeves is not. It would have worked against this movie.Delete
I like action movies, but this one doesn't look like it has anything new. Maybe if it's on Netflix.ReplyDelete
Jeanne: It is on Netflix; that's how I got it. But I think you're missing the point of "action movie."Delete
I love elegant violence. I'm a big Tarantino fan. I haven't heard of this movie. I'll try to remember to put it in my queue.ReplyDelete
Janie: This was way better than any of Tarantino's stuff.Delete
A prequel, eh? Didn't figure you for a prequel guy. Aren't you (or PT?) the guy who mentioned that the problem with prequels is the story arc, in that you know where the character ends up?ReplyDelete
Anyway, I didn't really want to see this. That tagline in the previews: "Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back" seemed extra-inane to me. What would've been wrong with "Yeah, I'm back?" Why the "I'm thinking?"
The Boy and Sweetie saw it, though, and gave it high marks. Then again, they liked "Looper," so I can't trust their judgment.
Briane: Generally, I am not a prequel guy; however, I don't want them to make a sequel to this movie, so, if they feel the need to make another, I hope they do a prequel.Delete
I didn't see any trailers for this ahead of time, so I missed the tagline. I think that's a direct quote from the movie, though, and it makes sense in that context. Which I can't explain because SPOILERS.
This one sounds like the kind of film my wife would love so I'd probably like it too. I've already put it near the top of my Netflix queue. I not only like real edible cotton candy, but I like fluffy movies as well.ReplyDelete
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
Lee: Let me know what you think once you've seen it.Delete
We watched it and to quote my wife, "It kept me awake."Delete
Your review pretty well nailed it all correctly. It was all well cast and beautifully filmed. It's a piece of work that's pretty easy on the eyes as they don't fall into that crazy camera movement trap to simulate action--something I really hate in many films of this nature.
My problem was the comic book style of the film. Wick is like a superhero of ex-gangsters and it does get a bit over the top a bit too much of the time. I like over the top, but maybe this went too much in the wrong way for me.
I really had to suspend disbelief too much in that the culture of people and the places didn't seem quite grounded enough in reality. It was almost like David Lynch trying to film a story while giving us a surrealistic setting without a wildly surrealistic story.
The film made me think of David Cronenberg's A History of Violence which we decided to watch the night following our watching of John Wick. It's a far superior film in my opinion, but then again it gets into that deep meaningful territory to which you refer and the violence stays more within realistic bounds. Have you seen History of Violence?
I agree a sequel would be a disaster. The Charles Bronson Death Wish series were kind of able to pull that off to some extent, but here the sequel would make no sense since seemed to have pretty well killed off on the bad guys that he had dealt with and I can't see him going into the vigilante business. Even a prequel would probably be a bad move.
Thanks for the recommendation. It did make for some uptempo Friday night viewing of the kind we like to watch after a work week--well, my wife's work week since I have none.
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Wrote By Rote
Not my cup of tea, but glad you enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
TAS: Not an action guy?Delete