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John Wick

John Wick

USA 2014 - mit Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Dean Winters ...

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Originaltitel:John Wick
Genre:Action, Thriller
Regie:Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Produktionsland:USA 2014
Laufzeit:Ca. 101 min.
FSK:From 16 years
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John Wick (Keanu Reeves), once the best Hitman in the business, has actually retired from the business to lead a quiet life with his wife Helen. But now she has died and all he has left of his great love is a little dog. A last gift from Helen, which should always remind him of her and help him to cope with his loss. But he doesn't have time when psychopathic gangster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) kills the dog after John refuses to sell him his beloved 1969 boss Mustang. Now John is thinking of revenge. He starts a bloody search for his car and for Iosef, the only son of John's former partner, the Russian gangster boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist). Of course, he wants to protect his son's life and therefore puts the best New York killers on John. But not without reason John Wick's reputation is legendary - and so it doesn't take long until the streets of the city turn blood-red on his merciless revenge campaign…

The two experienced stuntmen Chad Stahelski and David Leitch now venture behind the camera with their company 87Eleven. Their first production is the action hit "John Wick" with Keanu Reeves, with whom they already worked on the two "Matrix" sequels. Derek Kolstad's script, which they chose for their debut as filmmakers, actually offers very conventional B-movie food. It's full of clichéd characters and flat dialogues and therefore shouldn't really work out. But Stahelski and Leitch have managed the seemingly impossible and have conjured up an extremely cool thriller from the very simple basic structure, which has given Keanu Reeves his long-awaited comeback in the USA.

This is successful because the directors have concentrated on what they do best: staging first-class action with breathtaking stunts. Moreover, as second-unit directors in films like "Das Bourne Vermächtnis" or "Tributen von Panem", they learned how to make this action look good visually. Here, they bring a fascinatingly dark image of the New York underworld to the canvas, which is both stylish and threatening at the same time. In the resulting atmosphere they let it crack really nice and pull out all the stops of their skills. This may not be quite as mercilessly painful to watch as in the two great "The Raid" films, but without a doubt it plays in the same league.

That the acting achievements are degraded to a minor matter should not really surprise anyone. But although characters like the Russian mafiosi Tarasov or the ice-cold killer Miss Perkins (Adrianne Palicki) are not exactly a spawn of originality, the actors leave a consistently positive impression. Their game is either seasoned with refreshing self-irony (Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane) or reduced to the essentials (Keanu Reeves), so that the high fun factor of the action is only supported by it.

Sicherlich, "John Wick" is not a particularly intelligent film, not a demanding brain food. But it's a refreshingly uncompromising, adult action flick that ignites a firework of stunts and martial arts without much special effects, stylizing the thin story into a thrilling vendetta. So if you appreciate action of a more tangible kind and like movies like "The Raid", you shouldn't miss "John Wick". Absolutely worth seeing!

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