Are the John Wick films pulp or art? One one level it’s the story of a nigh unkillable hit-man racking up a body-count that even an 80’s action film would think to be a bit over the top whilst taking on a super secret society of assassins with more influence, manpower and indecipherable rules than the post office.
On the other hand though, my God these films look and sound so… good that it makes every other film look like their just not even trying. The framing of shots, the choreography of the numerous fight scenes the fact it looks like they paid their editor by the cut and the budget was really running low by that point, the near total use of practical effects and the way that the more that’s revealed to us through hints and whispers the more we want to know, the minimal use of dialogue and fact that this film just seems to take its-self seriously when it could so easily fall into camp.
I’m prepared to think that it’s some sort of miraculous hybrid which exists because a hell of a lot of people put in a hell of a lot of work to create this piece of part? Alp? Put? Pulart?
We pick up ten minutes after the end of John Wick 2: Wick Harder, where, to paraphrase Finding Nemo There are 7 billion people in the world, and all they’re looking for one. As soon as the buzzer goes off. Manners count.
Then a ton of fight scenes happen, Halle Berry finally gets some cinema work that she can feel proud of for the first time in a decade and 131 minutes later the wife picks my jaw up off the floor, pops my eyeballs back in and says that no, it is not a good idea for me to start taking martial arts lessons again and I start counting down the days until part 4 gets released.
Because whilst this is an amazing incredible beautiful film which brings in some awesome new characters and develops some existing ones, I mean The Italian Job (1969) had a less obvious cliffhanger ending!
I suppose I could comment on how there seems to be no situation that Wick ( By the way, technically, it isn’t the wick that gets set off, right? You light the wick, sure, but then it burns down until the flame reaches some kind of explosive, and THAT’S what gets set off, right?)
Sorry, where was I? Notes, notes, notes….
Oh, right, there’s seemingly no situation where Wick doesn’t have some sort of favor or loophole or McGuffin to exploit when he’s not killing every non-dog organic life-form in a 5 mile radius. Because apparently every non-dog organic life-form in a 5 mile radius is an assassin in this universe. Apart from me. Obviously. I’m not an assassin. (As far as you know…) I’m not too sure about my script guy though. That guy is weird.
Tiny, pitiful, irrelevant niggles aside, this film is awesome. It’s got the best horse chase since True Lies, the only interesting underwater fight I’ve ever seen, every character is cool, interesting and fun. Even if one did get a bit weird towards the end, I mean there are films where you can chew the scenery and some where you can’t. John Wick 3: Wick A Vengeance is in the latter case.
But minor niggles aside, this film is the Mona Lisa of action films. It’s a simple, basic story which is nevertheless full of twists and turns and never less than enjoyable. I liked that the films theme of actions having consequences is carried over to so, so, many characters and it’s got more inventiveness in it’s fight scenes than every other blockbuster this year put together.
Not too sure about the upcoming TV series though. Think that might be a step too far. Once more to wrap everything up with before this franchise gets crushed under it’s own weight and allow film geeks like me to hold it up for the ages whilst everything else gets covered in CGI, 12a sludge.
My Score- See It Now