Release Date 24Oct2014 (First in the series)
JOHN WICK... (shrug)
The John Wick series of movies started in 2014 with JOHN WICK, a story about a retired super-killer going after the people who stole his whip and killed his puppy. It was a mildly diverting action flick with some admittedly well-choreographed action scenes and was notable for long takes, unusual in a US shoot 'em up.
It also had what seemed to be an interesting bit of world building in the form of an organized structure and lore infused in it's colorful depiction of the criminal underworld. However, I certainly wasn't expecting to see this movie stretched out to four, with comic books, video games, and apparently several spin-offs in the works.
Franchises are old hat these days. If it hits, it's a sure bet that a cinematic universe is being planned. A shame really, it only serves to dilute and cheapen anything that might be special on it's own.
Some stories deserve to end, not just because they're bad, but CHIEFLY because they're good enough to end. Good enough to have said what they need to say.
The first John Wick movie was good enough for what it was trying to do. Not so good that it needed or was even capable of sustaining four films. Four films that repeatedly break their own rules for "Shiggles" (Shits and Giggles), wear out their increasingly over-long action sequences, and do nothing to hide KEANU REEVES's limited range. Seriously, Reeves's monotone has threatened to put me to bed several times through all of the movies.
The addition of action master DONNIE YEN in the 4th one does liven things up quite a bit, but once again American filmmakers have no clue how to use this guy in a feature. Someone saw ROGUE ONE, and said "Hey, that Asian guy plays a good blind kung-fu dude. Let have him do that shit again, only with murder!", instead of looking at Mr. Yen's EXTENSIVE accomplishments in film and television over the course of FOUR FUCKING DECADES!
They wanted him in a Mandarin collar, and my guy said "Fuck that! Ya mammy, Ho!"... (Not really, but he did suggest otherwise).
The action is solid if not indicative of US action productions catching up to their Asian counterparts in that department. There was promise in the lore department, but that was quickly discarded by BAD ROBOT inspired "Let's figure it out as we go" Butternut-fuckery.
The need to stretch an already thin narrative over styrofoam bones. It's no good when you're waiting for the next action scene because people you don't care about are talking about things that don't matter 15 minutes later. Keanu Reeves's somnambulatory performance... the guy can move, but he tired. BABA YAGA is a MF'n ogress who flies around in a mortar, and beats MFs with a pestle! How in Hell's winkin' sphinc does John Wick get equated with that!? Study... MF.
If you'll watch polar bears free-wank snowcones in the arctic. Action fans may find some diversion, but don't expect much. (Question: Why should we expect, and pay, for less?)
DON'T SEE IT:
There are far better flicks to spend your time on, many are being produced overseas. DIG FOR IT! Also, it's never too late to shit your own spine in a deadlift. Join MR. PISSED's world of pain and bakery today!