Film pick: John Wick (NC16)

101 minutes


This vengeance action-thriller turns on the most basic of principles: an eye for an eye. The film is all about packing in as much stylish bloodshed as possible into its efficient 100-minute running time, and it does this well.

Ex-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves, below) cuts a swathe through the Russian mafia with feet, knives and lots of guns after his dog is killed by thugs out to steal his vintage Mustang.

The selling point of the movie is its physicality. Hand-to-hand combat (the Russian variant, Sambo) figures a great deal. There is no fancy wirework, just straight-forward, realistic combat.

Directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski - stunt coordinators making a feature debut - have no qualms giving Wick and his companions all the things that go boom. Their background in stunts gives them great respect for weaponry. No one here shoots without aiming, nor do the bad guys run into bullets every chance they get.

This article was first published on Oct 24, 2014.
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