It's not perfect. But it is special, especially for a mid-budget Hollywood action drama, and it has stuck firmly in my mind since that late-night screening last Friday.
Stahelski and Leitch, both former stunt men, unsurprisingly tackle action sequences with glee... but the quieter scenes are more sophisticated, incorporating a sense of fantasy and visual splendor that almost makes the wafer-thin plot feel fresh.
Yet, for all the film's stylishness and a body count worthy of a small civil war, there's no getting around the fact that stiff, stoic Reeves -- who is capable of a few funny, deadpan lines -- isn't a particularly compelling lead action figure.
Stylishly violent and not much else.
Action movies are about movement, and John Wick pursues that goal with remorseless verve.
John Wick feels like action manna for its cleanly designed gun-fu sequences... but the revenge plotting is deeply dopey and we shouldn't have to choose one or the other.
John Wick is a rousing action thriller of the sort rarely encountered in theaters these days.
John Wick is the kind of fired-up, ferocious B-movie fun some of us can't get enough of.
This is not an action movie in the Michael Bay lineage; rather than an escalating series of explosions, John Wick offers a slow burn, sizzling in a manner true to its hero's surname.