John Wick: Lights, Keanu, action!

The beagle puppy may have been Reeve's favourite part of John Wick

Does John Wick deserve its near-perfect online ratings?

Keanu sheds his sharp cut for a shabby, weathered anti-hero look
Keanu sheds his sharp cut for a shabby, weathered anti-hero look

Keanu Reeves’ latest action movie, John Wick, has raked up an almost 100 per cent rating on review sites Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb (International Movie Database).

This is a big deal. Let’s put things in perspective: Popular 1999 classic The Matrix, which also stars Reeves as the iconic bullet-dodging Neo, averages only 87 per cent rating.

We wonder if John Wick is really that good, and whether having the award-winning Reeves playing the hero is just cheating.

Don’t Cross the Man

The movie follows retired hit man John Wick (Reeves) just after his wife has passed away. Her parting gift is a beagle puppy named Daisy, attached with a note that tells him not to forget how to love. Aww.

But it’s not all rainbows and smiles. When he refuses to sell his 1969 Boss Mustang to mafia thug Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), John becomes the target of a break-in that ends tragically.

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What happens when you steal from a man who has lost it all? We already know the answer – now to find out how he executes his revenge.

Wicked John

Playing John is veteran action star Reeves, whose portfolio encompasses the ground-breaking Matrix trilogy, the blockbuster Speed franchise, and his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi. With Reeve’s eternally youthful appearance, it may be tough for him to pull off John Wick’s world-weathered anti-hero look though.

When push comes to shove, John revives his violent ways for vengeance
When push comes to shove, John revives his violent ways for vengeance

But, being Keanu Reeves, he should have no trouble delivering. He revealed on Reddit that he likes acting as “complicated heroes”, which describes John Wick to a tee.

The Real & the Hyper-Real

John Wick places an ordinary scenario into the realm of hyper-reality but without getting too philosophical about it.

“It’s a very human premise for a big action movie, something that could happen to anyone. The holy grail of the action genre is to pair a very simple and very accessible premise like this with a hyper-real style,” said producer Basil Iwanyk.

Indeed, break-ins can happen to anyone – including Reeves. Last month, his house was broken into by two stalkers within days. However, Reeves handled it quite differently from his character John.

He shared on Reddit: “It was really scary. The first time was at like four in the morning on a Saturday, and it was scary.” But instead of charging full throttle at the criminals, he opted to amp up his security system.

The beagle puppy may have been Reeve's favourite part of John Wick
The beagle puppy may have been Reeve’s favourite part of John Wick

On that note, we’ll leave you with Reeves’ favourite elements of John Wick: “It’s got great action, great characters… and a puppy! And it’s fun. And funny. Emotional.”

See the trailer here!

John Wick [NC16]

Directors: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jason Isaacs, Michael Nyqvist
Genre: Action thriller
Run Length: 96 min
Release: 23 Oct

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