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‘John Wick’ Review: Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist & Adrianne Palicki

Keanu Reeves can still lead an action movie and a very good and fun action movie at that. Reeves returns to full action hero form as our title character John Wick and he leads the film from beginning to end as a man whose urge for vengeance gets the best of him.

On the day of his wife’s (Bridget Moynahan) funeral, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) gets an unexpected gift from his late wife: a puppy whose name is Daisy. John is completely grief stricken, but Daisy is able to help him cope with his wife’s death and represents the beginning of a new chapter in his life. But after a home invasion from Russian gangster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) and his crew, John is brutally beaten and his beloved Daisy killed. From that moment forward John seeks revenge on Iosef and his gangster father Viggo (Michael Nyquist).

When Viggo learns what his ignorant son has done to the once hit man, he is scared for his son’s life, so he puts a million dollar bounty on John. John soon figures out who is friend and foe as he eases back into the life he left behind four years ago.

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Has Keanu Reeves aged one bit since 1999’s The Matrix? He looks exactly the same and is completely badass here as John Wick. The fighting choreography is incredible and engaging and some of the best I’ve seen in years. The scene where the little Beagle puppy Daisy is killed is extremely brutal and unsettling, I’d almost recommend animal lovers life myself to cover their eyes during the sequence. But then again, how else could you justify a hit man killing almost a hundred people? Why is it so much harder to watch an animal death than a human one on film? Animals have an innocent quality that humans could never have and its Daisy’s murder that is the driving force of the film.

Ever since I saw Michael Nyquist in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, he has impressed throughout his filmography. Able to play a complete villain and a man with a soft spot for a young troubled woman, Nyquist has range several actors dream of achieving. Alfie Allen, best known for HBO’s Game of Thrones, also impresses as the young and unsure gangster. Adrianne Palicki is just incredible as a young hit girl called Perkins. The Friday Night Lights actress will hopefully make more a name for herself with bigger screen roles like this.

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Though John Wick has an almost too brutal and upsetting beginning and does drag a bit in the final act, Keanu Reeves is able to return to the type of role that made him famous. Whether you are a fan of Reeves or not, there’s no denying that he can still kick some on screen butt. Directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, both known for their stunt work in The Matrix films, Wolverine films and The Hunger Games films prove to be exciting first time directors that obviously care about the work they do.

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