Keanu Reeves has been picking films which are a bit redundant lately. Go out and whack all the bad guys. Yes, I know that’s the basic plot of a LOT of films lately, but John Wick takes it to a straight body count model.
SPOILER ALERT: Although honestly… there just isn’t much to this plot…
There is not much to the plot. Keanu plays the title character John Wick, a retired assasin whose wife had recently passed away. He is known as Baba Yaga, the Boogeyman; not because he is the boogeyman but because he’s the one you send to kill the boogeyman. After the death of his wife, a package arrives with an adorable beagle and a note from his wife about how the dog is his first step to loving again.
Enter the punk,Iosef Tarasov, son of a Russian mob boss, played by Alfie Allen, who decides he wants John Wick’s classic muscle car. John only cares about three things at this point: his car, his dog, and the memory of his wife. Predictably, Josef decides that he wants John’s car, so he and two friends break into John Wicks house, beat him with a metal baseball bat (which by the way doesn’t manage to break any of John Wick’s bones, although they manage to beaat him unconscious), kill his dog, and steal his car. John Wick is uncharacteristically vulnerable and inept in this scene. The rest of the movie is simple: body count revenge.
My estimation on the body count in this film was just over a hundred. I took a look online to see if there was an actual count, and I found counts at 84, 94, and estimations like mine at 100 or more. Any way you look at it, there is a huge body count in John Wick.
So, why is the film coming up as surprisingly popular? John Wick’s character is just marginally likeable, and even that word isn’t really a good fit. There is a certain empathy for the character that the writers set up in the film. It is more “the circumstances” that we have empathy for than “the man.” The primary draw on John Wick though is its similarity to first person shooter games. It is very effective. I’m not sure it’s a good thing to do, although its inevitable that it would take place. John Wick is essentially an elevated version of a first person shooter game with live actors, which does give me a moment to wonder if someone will try to elevate things to the next level, which is reality. That thought is fairly disturbing.
John Wick is an incredibly violent film, however, the blood is kept to a minimum. Normal consequences are not at play in this film. The majority of the people die incredibly easily, then there are other who seem to have nine lives. If teens are watching this movie, then a discussion should take place about the reality of violence, because John Wick definitely gives the wrong picture of what real life is like.
This film reminds me of a very bloody Samurai film that came out in 2003, called Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman. It too was a massacre perpetrated by one individual for revenge, but instead of mitigating the amount of blood and gore, Zatoichi accentuated it throughout the film. Both films have mind numbing violence, and requires the audience to come desensitized during the movie.
If you’re into violence, John Wick will be right up your dark alley…
This is a midnight movie in the making…
- MLA style
- Cynthia Kirkeby, “John Wick.” Point Of View Reviews- Movie reviews by DW Kirkeby, and more, from ClassBrain's Movies in the Classroom. 4 November 2014, 15:22 UTC. . 27 Feb 2017 <http://pointofviewreviews.com/john-wick/>.
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- Cynthia Kirkeby, “John Wick.” Point Of View Reviews- Movie reviews by DW Kirkeby, and more, from ClassBrain's Movies in the Classroom, http://pointofviewreviews.com/john-wick/ [accessed February 27, 2017].