John Wick

Rated 3.0

This dazzling action movie is basically a savage ballet, superbly orchestrated for Keanu Reeves (in the title role) and a small army of shooters, fighters, urban miscreants, combat junkies, etc. Chad Stahelski, a stuntman-turned-director, uses the simplest of revenge plots as the occasion for a cinematic circus of high-energy action—hand-to-hand combat, gangster shootouts, car chases, etc. The script, credited to Derek Kolstad, has a plot premise that smacks of travesty: Wick, retired as the hitman’s hitman and grieving over his wife’s recent death, returns to furious action when the son of a Russian mafia honcho steals his vintage automobile and kills his dog. But travesty may be part of the deal here: When the main villain pauses in his final battle with Wick to lament the younger generation’s lack of respect for civilized combat, Keanu/Wick—moving in for the face-to-face kill, and looking thoroughly barbaric—asks, “Do I look ‘civilized’ to you?”

Cinemark 14 and Feather River Cinemas. Rated R