tek's rating: ¼

John Wick (R)
IMDb; Lionsgate; official website; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Peacock; Vudu; YouTube

This came out in 2014, but I didn't see it until 2020 (by which time there were two sequels). The one thing I knew about it beforehand was that a former assassin named John Wick (Keanu Reeves) goes on a rampage after someone kills his dog. So I assumed it was a dog he'd had for a long time, and had a very close relationship with. I was wrong. It turns out it was a puppy he'd only had for like a day or two. But he still had a very good, personal reason to be as deeply enraged as he was about it. Oh, also the same guy who killed the puppy also stole his car, but I have a feeling he might have let the car thing slide if it weren't for the dead puppy. (I might have also known about the car beforehand, but it didn't stick out in my mind as much as the dog.)

Anyway, the guy who stole his car and killed his puppy is Iosef Tarasov, the arrogant son of a mob boss named Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), for whom Wick worked until he retired from the business five years ago, to get married. (His wife, Helen, died in flashback at the start of the movie.) When Viggo finds out what his son did, he sends a hit squad to try to kill Wick before he can come for Iosef, but of course Wick kills them all. And then there's just a lot more killing throughout the movie. And Wick gets pretty badly hurt, himself, but it's truly impressive how many random mooks he kills before he finally gets to Iosef. And after he kills Iosef, Viggo kills a friend of Wick's, which means Wick isn't done killing people. Now he has to kill as many people as he can to get to Viggo, to take revenge for his friend.

That's pretty much the whole plot of the movie. It's pretty good as far as bad-ass action goes, and it's got some believable drama motivating all the killing. But that's not enough for me to think it's a great movie in general. It's just good for what it is. If you like that kind of thing. Oh... one nice touch is that there's a hotel called the Continental, where people in Wick's line of work can stay while they're working, but there's a strict rule about keeping that work out of the hotel. Anyway... I also wanted to mention some other familiar actors who were in the movie. Adrianne Palicki plays an assassin named Ms. Perkins, who tries to kill Wick after Viggo put out a bounty on him. Dean Winters plays Avi, Viggo's right-hand man. John Leguizamo has a relatively minor role as the owner of a chop shop where Iosef took Wick's car. He's the one who informed Wick who had stolen the car, as well as informing Viggo whose car had been stolen. And Willen Dafoe plays another assassin who was hired to kill Wick, though I had my doubts all along about whether he'd actually go through with it. Lance Reddick plays the concierge at the Continental. And... I guess I don't know what else to tell you.

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