John Wick is a timely reminder that Keanu Reeves is still the man. The Matrix actor may have had a rocky career in recent years, but at 50 years of age, Reeves proves that he has still got it, not only as an action actor, but an actor in general.
The story follows John, a retired hit man, who loses his wife to a sudden illness and whose parting gift is an adorable beagle puppy. When thugs, headed conveniently by the son of Wick’s former employer, break into his house, beating John, stealing his vintage Mustang and murdering the puppy, he officially comes out of retirement in order to seek vengeance.
Purely from the first half an hour of the film, we find grief a serious test for John as a character and for Reeves to portray – this being a clear indication that the man can act, casting away any doubters. As an audience we are quickly attached to John, and much of that is down to Reeves.
The movie itself is beautifully delivered to us by director Chad Stahelski, (the man who provided Reeves’ stunts in The Matrix) making his directorial debut. The ominous tones are evident throughout, dark and melancholy to match the sad opening to the film and its brooding subject matter.
Adding to the style is the incredible shoot outs and fight scenes where Reeves again shines. The slick delivery of the gunfights is almost Tarantino-esque where the bouts and tussles are played out like dance routines.
Ultimately John Wick provides a stylish, fast-paced entertainment with plenty of firepower behind it and providing us with a reminder as to why we love Reeves. It’s no wonder a sequel has been confirmed.