Extra Cinema: John Wick (15)

Keanu Reeves stars in John Wick
Keanu Reeves stars in John Wick

Starring: Keanu Reeves

Director: Chad Stakelski

The death of a cherished pet propels a retired hitman to the brink of murderous insanity in Chad Stahelski’s blood-soaked action thriller.

Laced with macabre humour and punctuated by balletic fight sequences, John Wick embraces comedy and tragedy as its eponymous hero exacts eye-watering revenge for the slaying of a beloved beagle.

Keanu Reeves delivers one of his most compelling performances since The Matrix Trilogy in the title role

The actor’s restricted repertoire of expressions fits perfectly with his assassin facing overwhelming odds. An act of senseless brutality fuels John’s lust for revenge, ignoring the fact that his target is the son of mob boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist).

John Wick recognises its strength and plays to them with wry humour, director Stahelski, who is a stunt co-ordinator by trade, is understandably more comfortable with flying fists than dialogue.

However, he sustains dramatic momentum well and builds all of the slaughter to a grand resolution.

Rating: 7/10