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Movie Review: John Wick (2014)

100 minutes of judo, bullets, and Keanu Reeves getting progressively angrier until he goes off like...something that is not a wick, because let's face it, when you think wick you think candle. A candle does not suggest righteous ass-kicking fury. Keanu should have been named John Fuse, is what I am saying. The Word Ninja has spoken.

John Wick is a terrific action movie that overcomes its terrible trailer. It's a straightforward tale--and I'm not spoiling anything here because the trailer already did!--of a man who loses his wife and his dog, in that order, and goes on a roaring rampage of revenge against the twatwaffle whodunit.

The movie is a joy to watch because of the fight choreography, the sly nod to nerds (look for the red shirts!), and the various, often humorous ways in which people interact with John Wick. As the person "you send to kill the bogeyman," he has a bit of a rep, and everyone who knows him respects him--and then poops their pants or backs slowly away, depending on the person's ties to John's target.

Re: the fighting: Keanu's John knows his business. He holds his gun close to his body ("For maximum turning angles," said Fragrant Husband, geekily), conscientiously double taps if the first hit wasn't a head shot, and does all sorts of throws and body slams that get the job done. The body count is ridiculous, naturally, but John also takes a beating. There's a scene where he gets thrown over a railing, and while normal action movies will go for the slow-mo smashing through the table, ain't nothin' but ground waiting for our hero. It was like WHAM. HELLO, I AM THE FLOOR.  HOW NICE OF GRAVITY TO BRING US TOGETHER. Cue the wincing. Oh, and in case you were wondering if his Nascar-ing at the beginning is a Chekhov's Gun...maaaaybe.

The cast is bomb: Michael Nyqvist, Willem Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan, and John Leguizamo are familiar faces. Meanwhile, A Game of Thrones fans will be all *smh* at Alfie Allen playing yet another snot (although apparently he's a fun guy IRL!), and sharp-eyed watchers of Agents of Shield and Agent Carter shall be rewarded. My favorite, though, is Lance Reddick, who plays the unflappable hotel manager.

Viewers are also treated to the Hollywood fantasy of the incredibly classy lifestyle of gangsters and underworld assassins, who are all impeccably dressed, have luxurious homes, drive awesome cars, and stay at (ahem) special hotels. Yes, Hollywood, this is why I throw my money at you, keep the double-breasted suits and attractive people on screen so that I may forget the drudgery of my empty life and my crippling first world problems. MBTAAAAA! *shakes fist*

And the other thing I like about this movie is the stylistic subtitles. (nerd voice) I like reading.


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