First Hit: This movie had a very weak story, uninspired acting, and lots of shooting.
If you want to see someone shoot a lot of people, change a lot of clips in his guns, and act as if he doesn’t care if he’s in the film, watch Keanu Reeves as John Wick.
There were times in this film that I laughed out loud when it wasn’t supposed to be funny, it was just that stupid. I’m sure we’ll see a Chapter 3, because the ending scene has him running off with an hour time limit before the world of assassins are authorized to kill him.
In this film, he is goaded out of retirement because he is obligated to fulfill a marker held by Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio). Santino wants his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini) killed so that he can take her “seat at the table”. What table this is we’re not given much information about but I guess must be important for Reeves to go ahead in fulfilling the marker.
Wick being an assassin has the skills for the job and this is mostly what we see in this film. Lots of killing. Wick runs through lots of tunnels, alley ways, streets, and buildings shooting nearly a hundred people in this 2-hour 2-minute escapade.
There are lots of other assassins in this film including: Ares (Ruby Rose), Cassian (Common), and Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) to name a few. The person who keeps track of the assassins’ jobs and markers is Winston (Ian McShane) who runs the “International” hotel which is holy ground and no one kills anyone on holy ground.
Reeves was like a zombie walking through his scenes. Although he moves well, shoots well, and his ability to kick people in the legs so that he can make his assailants lose their balance was impressive, his scenes with dialogue seemed lifeless. Scamarcio was OK as the marker holder, however, he could not meet the image of a big time heavy. Common was probably the best of the lot. His clarity and intensity were strong. Fishburne was mediocre as a pigeon attending assassin controlling a part of NCY using street bums as his eyes and ears. McShane was probably the second best character in the film as the Manager of the International. Derek Kolstad wrote a very week script. The storyline was just filled with fluff between gun fights. Chad Stahelski did an OK job of directing the fight scenes but the story film was too long and had no real point, except to set up the next film where Wick will “kill them all.”
Overall: Without a real strong point and with minimal acting, especially by Reeves, this film fails on most counts.