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JOHN WICK is the Ultimate Dog Revenge Movie

In John Wick, Keanu Reeves moves seamlessly around bad guys, combining martial arts with gun play. Without missing a beat, he weaves through a wave of people, dancing around them while putting two in their chest and one in their head. It’s a ballet of action that would make ’80s-era John Woo proud.

Reeves plays the title character, a retired assassin who just lost his wife (Bridget Moynahan) to an unspecified illness. The night of her funeral, a package arrives. It’s a puppy. A sweet, adorable puppy that follows John around, licks his face in the morning and sleeps with him at night. While refueling his 1969 Mustang, Wick comes across some Russian punks, led by Iosef (Game of Throne‘s Alfie Allen), who wants to buy the car. Wick refuses, and they show up at his home later that night. They steal the car, beat Wick to a pulp and murder the poor puppy.

And nobody kills a puppy on John Wick’s watch. Even if that person’s father is the head of the Russian mob (Michael Nyqvist).

John Wick

John Wick is the kind of fun, R-rated man on a mission action flick that was so popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Instead of relying on nostalgia to get by (like The Expendables), the film takes that old school blueprint and builds up on it with insane action. Jason Statham wishes he made action movies as entertaining as John Wick.

Co-directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, both of whom came up with stunts for The Matrix, the duo kicks John Wick up a notch with their inventive action. Coupled with the fun script, it’s no wonder they were able to round out the cast with Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane. Everyone is having a blast, especially Nyqvist. Since hitting the scene in the Swedish adaptation of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, the actor has been stuck playing villains in Abduction and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. He’s clearly having the time of his life in John Wick, overacting at every opportunity, and the fun is infectious. Even Reeves, who’s very much a bad ass as Wick, takes things to another level around Nyqvist, using a dark, gravelly voice.

A revenge flick about a guy seeking revenge against the people who murdered his dog may seem like a flimsy plot… if you don’t own a dog. Also, the dog is beyond adorable. But mostly, spending 100 minutes watching Keanu Reeves shoot everyone involved in killing his puppy plays out like a dog lover’s greatest revenge fantasy. It’s also just a lot of fun.

Welcome back, badass Keanu. We missed you.


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The Author

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill used to spend his time writing screenplays into a notebook instead of doing homework. That love of film and all things storytelling led him to spend most of his time writing. He's been a film critic in North Carolina for over five years, and his debut novel, THE BOOK OF BART, is out now. Please buy it. Ryan also feels odd about referring to himself in the third person.