JOHN WICK – Rated R – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

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Stunt coordinating geniuses David Leitch and Chad Stahelski decide to sit in the Director’s chair this time around, bringing Keanu Reeves back to the big screen WITH A VENGENCE in their action-packed Directorial debut – JOHN WICK.

As we meet John Wick (Keanu Reeves), he has given up his life as a hit man to live a “normal life” with his beautiful wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan).  When Helen passes after a long illness, John finds comfort from his grief in an unexpected gift that arrives in a crate from his late wife.

Trying to deal with her death becomes overwhelming, so John heads out of the house for some fresh air, when he happens upon a few Russian hoodlums at the gas station, and one of them, Iosaf Tarasov (Alfie Allen) seems very interested in John’s 1969 Mustang, but it’s not for sale.  Iosaf isn’t accustomed to not getting exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it, so they go to retrieve the vehicle and take care of its owner too!

It seems as if Iosaf has gotten exactly what he wants – as they steal the car and kill John’s dog – and assumes John for dead too, but wait, this is JOHN WICK we are talking about……so when he comes to, he is hell bent on getting his car back and taking care of Iosaf and all of his men too!

He visits his old friend Aurelio’s (John Leguizamo) body shop, hoping to find his car there.  Aurelio shares that it was there, but that Iosaf has taken it home with him to see his father, Aurelio’s boss man Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), who is none to happy to hear his other “former” employee – a.k.a. John Wick, is on the trail of his idiot son……and when John is after you……there is no ESCAPE!

Will John take out Iosaf and all his men for stealing his car and killing his dog?  Will his Friend Marcus (Willem Dafoe) take a walk on the dark side and accept a contract from Viggo to take John out, or will the Maiden of Mystery, Ms. Perkins (Adrianne Palicki) take on the task of ridding the world of this “crazy assassin”?

I give JOHN WICK a B+:  It has been a while since I have had so much actual FUN watching an action packed thriller like JOHN WICK!  You know I love to watch great action films as much most of the guys I know – just as long as it’s not too bloody or gory –  I mean, a girl has to have her standards, and John Wick is neither of those, so YEAH!  And you will also be blown away by Derek Kolstad’s screenplay by infusing some really funny comedic moments into this film, and at the most unexpected times.  It is pure genius how mixing comedy with the incredible action sequences from Leitch and Stahelski, makes John Wick one FANTASTIC ACTION FILM!   Keanu Reeves has upped his game this time around too, because he is so good in all the action, you don’t even remember he is no longer 20 Something – he is just one bad ass making his way through life and taking no prisoners!  Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki are perfection as well, and you couldn’t ask for a better Russian Mobster than Michael Nyquist – the tone of his voice, his ruthless demeanor, his I don’t care who dies as long as it isn’t me attitude plays out like a well-oiled machine – absolutely brilliant.  I was also great to see Lance Reddick (General Caufield in WHITE HOUSE DOWN) as the hotel manager more than ready to help John out when he ends with a severe impaling, or anything along those lines….  You will enjoy each and every frame of the 101 minutes of this film – if you love action and assassins mixed with a comedic twist and turn now and then….the head out to see JOHN WICK and make it your Date Night pick this weekend.

Kathy Kaiser