John Wick Blu-ray Review
When it comes to revenge based action movies, there’s a fine, subtle line between your common B-movie fodder and a surprise box office hit. Every action movie has the same core; plenty of violence, one-liners and cool leading men, but a truly enjoyable action movie has something more. You can’t always put your finger on it, but you know it when you see it and JOHN WICK has it in spades. JOHN WICK doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not; it knows it’s a simple movie and it knows it’s a little cheesy, but everything works so well that you can’t help but have a good time.
One of the best parts of the film is that everyone already knows who John Wick is. So there’s no initial set up or montage of Wick killing people; everyone already knows he’s a bad dude. But that was a few years ago and now Wick is mourning the death of his wife when he crosses paths with Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen from ‘Game of Thrones’). Iosef is the spoiled son of Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), who leads the Russian mob. Iosef decides that he likes John Wick’s car and so he breaks into his home, beats him with a metal club and then does something unspeakable; he kills John Wick’s dog. I know that sounds funny, but that’s really what sets John Wick off. Wick decides he’s going to get his revenge and what transpires is a one man war against the Russian mob.
The action scenes are great, starting with an attack on John Wick’s house and culminating with John Wick assaulting a hideout. Wick had a trademark move where he shoots all of the bad guys in the head. It’s a simple tactic, but it was really fun to watch him use his gun in close quarters fights and end the fight with a shot to the bad guy’s head. Action movies sometimes get bogged down in subplots, but JOHN WICK does a good job of keeping those to a minimum. There’s a female assassin that gives him trouble and she has some other things going on, but overall her story moves along nicely, as does that of Wick’s friend Marcus (Willem Dafoe).
It’s easy to knock Keanu Reeves for his sometimes subpar acting or his weird knack for messing up the timing of his lines, but the guy is a very charismatic actor and in the right role, he can really carry a movie. JOHN WICK is a perfect way to get Keanu Reeves back in the spotlight as it showcases everything he does so well. He wasn’t asked to deliver a long monologue or interact a whole lot with other actors, he just had to be cool, tough and kill a lot of bad guys, which he did exceptionally well. His costars all did well with what they had, but really this is just a movie about a tough guy killing a lot of other tough guys.
The story is simple enough; bad guys pick on the wrong guy and pay the price, but Keanu Reeves soaks up the role and directors Chad Stahleski and David Leitch keep everything rolling in a stylized, exciting manner that puts a smile on the faces of everyone that loves a good action movie. By now, JOHN WICK shouldn’t be a surprise to you, but if you’re on the fence, trust me when I say this will be a fun ride for you.
Video: JOHN WICK looks incredible on Blu-ray. This is another really dark film, but the transfer is so good that colors still come through perfect.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Chad Stahelski and David Leitch: This is a nice commentary from two guys that claim they’ve never given a commentary before. They keep it really interesting and provide plenty of laughs and interesting tidbits along the way. Overall a great listen for fans of the movie.
Don’t F With John Wick (15:16): This is a nice behind the scenes featurette that focuses on the choreography and training.
Calling in the Cavalry (11:56): This featurette looks at the film as a whole, including how it got made and how they did some of the fight scenes
Destiny of a Collective (6:18): This takes a deep dive into the relationship between the directors
The Assassin’s Code (5:17): An exploration into the world of assassins.
NYC Noir (5:58): This takes a quick and simple look at some of the NYC locations used in the film.
The Red Circle (6:25): One of the bigger fight scenes in the film happens at a night club called The Red Circle. This featurette looks at that club in detail.