John Wick

First Hit:  The best thing is how Wick handles a gun and there’s lots of that in this film.

Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired hitman assassin for a Russian mob. He retired because he fell in love and then his wife dies. Because it was long-term illness, after her death she pre-arranged to have a puppy sent to John. After a few days of dealing with a puppy, he becomes totally engaged and loves this dog.

Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), son of John’s former boss Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) wants John’s car and decides to rob him by invading his house, killing his dog and stealing his car. This does not go over well and the rest of the film is about Wick getting revenge.

The plot, although weak, is an interesting way to make Wick have a soft heart while giving him a vehicle to kill everyone in Viggo’s organization and he does. The best part was the choreography of the shooting scenes, Wick is a master at movement and shooting and Reeves voice, body language and movement makes it work.

Reeves makes this script and film work with the aloofness that comes naturally to him. His body awareness and abilities, probably gained from the “Matrix” series, are an asset here. Allen is perfect as the spoiled, unthoughtful, and stupid son of the Russian Mafioso. Nyqvist is excellent as the head of the mob, by being cynical, irreverent, and mean. Willem Dafoe as Reeves friend Marcus is very good at having Wick’s back. I also thought Adrianne Palicki was strong as a woman assassin who wanted to cash in on the price on Wick’s head. Derek Kolstad wrote an OK screen play which tried to create a backstory but it was all about killing lots of people. David Leitch and Chad Stahelski co-directed the film and despite a weak plot, the execution of choreographed killing scenes worked out well.

Overall:  It was entertaining but is was also simply a vehicle for guns and killings.