‘John Wick’ is action-packed fun

As fall begins, movie studios release their high-caliber films in order for the chance of Oscar consideration. Standing out amongst the films not likely to be nominated is “John Wick.”

The film follows the title character, an aging former hitman grieving the loss of his wife, Helen, to cancer. On the day of her funeral, Wick receives a puppy named Daisy as a posthumous gift from Helen.

After spending the next day bonding with Daisy in his ’69 Ford Mustang, Wick unwittingly attracts the attention of three Russian gangsters, who follow him home in order to steal his car, but also assault Wick and kill Daisy in the process. He then sets out on a violent path for vengeance to kill the three murderers and anyone who stands in his way, causing him to re-enter the world he thought he left behind.

As the titular anti-hero, Keanu Reeves shows incredible skill and a true return to the action world for Reeves. He immediately draws the audience in with his dramatic abilities as the grieving husband, and keeps their attention as he changes into a witty, devoted and highly-skilled assassin who will stop at nothing to get revenge for Daisy. Keanu gives his best performance since “Street Kings” in 2008.

The story isn’t the most original – an aging former professional killer re-entering his old world to get revenge for someone or something close to him. But screenplay writer Derek Kolstad ensures in the writing that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, just giving the audience good, old-fashioned B-movie entertainment.

In addition to good writing and acting, the directors show an incredible talent in their debut behind the camera. The duo, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, are more known in the movie industry for their work as stunt coordinators on films such as “V For Vendetta,” “300,” “Constantine,” and “The Matrix” trilogy, and yet they show an incredible skill in the director’s position.

The cinematographer, Jonathan Sela, also does an incredible job in the many camera angles, especially during the well-choreographed fight scenes. The way Sela sets up the shots in different styles of scenes, ranging from the crowded, color-rich dance club to the cold, heavy down-pouring rain on the dock, he knows the angles needed to perfectly capture the energy of the scenes and the hard-hitting force of the fights.

In the end, “John Wick” is a fast-paced, action-packed, gripping thrill-ride that feels like a video game in the form of a movie. Those looking for a fun action movie should look no further.