John WickTaking a break from the history of superhero movies this week so today’s Sunday Matinee is the recently released on Blu-ray/DVD and VOD film John Wick.

I had no interest in seeing John Wick when the film was released in theatres. It just looked like another action revenge flick with Keanu Reeves in the title role and two first time directors at the helm. But the movie got some good reviews and it did fairly decent at the box office. But more importantly I kept hearing that it’s a pretty good film so I decided to watch John Wick.

John Wick starts with Keanu Reeves mourning the loss of his wife. After the funeral Wick receives one last parting gift from his wife, a puppy. Wick owns a really nice 1969 Ford Mustang that catches the eye of Russian gangster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen – better known as that asshole Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones). In the middle of the night Iosef and his cronies attack Wick, beat him up, kill his puppy and steal his car. Wick is very unhappy.

Iosef takes the car to John Leguizamo’s chop shop. Leguizamo recognizes the car and hits Iosef and tells him to get out. Wick later shows up and Leguizamo tells him who took his car. Viggo Tarasov’s (Michael Nyqvist) son. Viggo is the big Russian mob boss and Wick used to work for him as an assassin. Viggo is pissed at his son and tries to talk John out of revenge. The phone call involves Viggo talking and John saying nothing but hanging up which says more than enough to Viggo to know Wick’s intent. Viggo takes a contract out for $2 million on Wick knowing what’s coming. Viggo also asks Wick’s old friend, mentor and fellow assassin Marcus (Willem Dafoe) to kill Wick.

Wick digs up his weapons and begins his rampage to kill Isoef. He kills the initial hit squad sent to kill him and then has his place cleaned up. He heads to town and books a room at the Continental, a hotel for assassins that’s neutral ground. From there he starts trying to track down Iosef while fighting assassin’s trying to cash in on the bounty.

John Wick doesn’t break any new ground in the action revenge genre but it is extremely entertaining, more than I expected it to be. The fight scenes are well choreographed, both directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch were the fight and stunt coordinators of several movies including the Matrix films that Reeves starred in so they know how to stage fights scenes. The movie has a pulpy noir feel to it, it kind of reminds me of stuff like Get Carter. There’s also a whole fully realized underworld with rules and currency (gold coins are used) that’s pretty intriguing. Yes I enjoyed the heck out of John Wick. It’s quite an enjoyable action revenge B movie.