John Wick

Rated 4.0

The latest Keanu Reeves vehicle is a true stunner. It boasts a high body count, and offers cinematic proof that you shouldn't mess with a man's best friend. In the film's opening moments, we learn that the title character (Reeves) has lost his wife, and he's taking it justifiably hard. After a member of the Russian mob kills his dog and steals his car, we find out that Wick is a former assassin with guns and gold buried in his floor. The loss of his ride and canine friend are enough to make him spring back into action, and he does so in spectacular fashion thanks to Reeves and directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, both making their debuts. Stahelski has actually been a Reeves stunt double many times, including the Matrix films, Constantine and Point Break. The familiarity with each other pays off, because the stunt sequences and choreography are flawless. In the pantheon of action movie directing debuts, this one stands very tall. Willem Dafoe makes a nice mark in a few scenes as a double-crossing hitman. Adrianne Palicki, the actress who was supposed to be Wonder Woman until NBC saw the pilot and puked, shows action movie chops as another gun-for-hire that can't be trusted. This is a great-looking movie that mixes in some strong emotions with its awesome set pieces. It's nice to see Keanu Reeves back in the saddle. Now, with the success of this film, perhaps somebody will finally greenlight Bill and Ted 3.