Tag Archives: John Wick

Review – Atomic Blonde

What’s this?

It’s Jane Wick.

Okay, sorry, that’s not entirely accurate. But I’ve had that joke lined up since the first trailer, and while it might not be my best work, I needed to get it off my chest. It’s half right, anyway. Atomic Blonde is about a badass super-spy punching, shooting and stabbing her way through a stylized aesthetic under the direction of David Leitch. Certainly sounds like John Wick to me.

But, alas, Atomic Blonde isn’t that – at least not all the time. In reality, it’s based on a moderately obscure graphic novel, The Coldest City, and takes the form, structurally and tonally, of a twisty Cold War espionage thriller full of Soviet skulduggery and collapsing communist regimes. Which isn’t exactly what was advertised.

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Review – John Wick

The central premise of John Wick is so clichéd, derivative and inherently silly that it’s easy to be surprised by the sheer quality of the actual film surrounding it. This is unashamedly little more than a modern interpretation of an action premise already two decades out of date: a widely-known, universally-feared professional killer is forced out of his self-imposed retirement to beat, stab and shoot his way through an army of Russian mobsters and rival assassins. Why? Because Theon Greyjoy killed his dog.

There’s more to it than that, but only just. The eponymous John Wick was once the most competent hitman to ever grace the blood-soaked world of organized crime. Now, he’s a laconic widower who lives alone in his big house being Sad Keanu. He has a 1989 Mustang which he sometimes drives very quickly around a private airfield, and he has a beagle named Daisy; a final P.S. I Love You-style posthumous gift from his recently deceased wife. So, when the son of a Russian mob boss turns up at his house, bludgeons his dog and steals his car, John Wick is forced to dig up his buried weaponry and return to work in order to exact his vengeance.

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Review – John Wick: Chapter 2

Sometimes these things write themselves.

It’s another John Wick movie. What else do you really need to know? The frowning has intensified, the body count has doubled, and Wick, Keanu Reeves’ reticent ex-hitman, has taken his puppy-inspired killing spree international. The first of these movies, an instant cult-classic from 2014, saw Wick turn Lower Manhattan into Tiananmen Square. This new instalment also starts and ends in New York, but it finds plenty of time for scenic detours through the galleries, bathhouses and catacombs of Rome. It’s the best Hong Kong martial arts movie set in Europe, and the best 90s action movie released in the 2010s.

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