DVD Review: John Wick - Keanu's star shines again

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 March, 2015, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 March, 2015, 10:51pm

John Wick
Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
Directors: Chad Stahelski and David Leitch

John Wick is a wonderful return to form for Keanu Reeves, who brushes off the disasters that were Man of Tai Chi (2013) and 47 Ronin (2013) by returning to what he does best: acting that can be filed under the "less is more" category.

Reeves plays a retired assassin dealing with the loss of his wife (Bridget Moynahan), and a man brought back into the game after a nasty bunch of Russians steal his car and brutalise the puppy she left behind to help him through the grieving process.

The thugs had obviously missed Michaël R. Roskam's crime drama The Drop (2014), which also involved a puppy and would have warned them that it makes more sense to let sleeping dogs lie.

Dialogue and often common sense are kept to a minimum, and instead we have Reeves dispensing a brutal style of justice to anyone who gets in his way. This is violence of the most comic-book style and while that sometimes dulls its edge, it in no way lessens the entertainment value of the production.

Co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch worked alongside Reeves as stunt doubles during The Matrix trilogy and lend the same highly stylised approach to their craft that was seen in those films. The action never really moves out from the shadows and the designer clobber simply adds to the almost effortlessly cool atmosphere as the action shifts into New York at night, and into hotels and lounges that shimmer with style.

Reeves - now 50 - still moves with remarkable grace. His previous forays into martial arts training continue to pay off and in John Wick he displays a quiet air of self-belief and confidence when the directors let him amp up the action. They never lose the focus that Reeves is the star of the show, despite the impressive (and strong) stream of cameos.

And fans of the Hollywood star will rejoice that Reeves has again been given the chance to do what he does best: brood.

Extras: Don't F*#% With John Wick, Calling in the Cavalry, Destiny of a Collective, Assassin's Code, Red Circle, NYC Noir featurettes