I saw John Wick today fully expecting nothing but a mindless action film. Surprisingly, I came out of the cinema more than happy with what I saw.

The story goes as follows, John Wick (played by Keanu Reeves) is given the gift of a puppy from his dying wife. Iosef Tarasov, (played by Alfie Allen) the son of crime boss Viggo Tarasov (played by Michael Nyqvist) breaks into Wick’s house with his crew, beats him up, kills his dog and steals his beautiful Mustang. Wick goes on a rampage to kill everyone who was involved and things quickly break down.

Sure, the premise of “you killed my dog so I’m going to kill you and all your friends” is a bit silly. But the director does a very good job of putting some depth to it instead of leaving it a big gaping hole. Also, I believe no one but Keanu Reeves could pull a character like John Wick off.

So where does Kevin Nash play into this you ask? Well, that’s simple. Nash plays a bouncer for one of Viggo’s clubs called the Red Circle. Though his role is a small one, it served its purpose. We get to hear Nash speak in a surprisingly good Russian accent (seriously, I wasn’t sure whether it was him doing it or a voiceover because it sounded nothing like him) as he “exchanges pleasantries” with Wick while having a gun poking the back of his head. Nash did a good job of showing fear of Wick even though he is double his size.

The two best things about this movie are the gun play combined with martial arts in what I can only explain as “Gun Do” or “Gun Fu” and the “universe” created within the film.

It’s the first time I’ve ever seen guns so intertwined with martial arts in a film ever…..and I gotta say it was pretty awesome. The gracefulness of which Reeves as Wick had with every punch and takedown was phenomenal. The action and stunts in this film are among the best I’ve ever seen. Especially when the director does such a fantastic job of letting us see all the action as it plays out with the unique camera angles.

In the film, Wick seeks assistance from a hotel called The Continental which houses and helps contract killers in secrecy using special gold coins (I know! Freakin’ awesome right?). With the help of performances from supporting characters like William DaFoe as Wick’s old friend, Ian McShane as the hotel owner and Lance Reddick as the hotel clerk, The Continental feels like a real place where hitmen and women come and go. I’m praying that this movie is successful because I see a lot of potential to explore The Continental in a possible sequel. If that was the writers intention to start with, well then he did a great job.

One thing that I thought was interesting about the films antagonist, Viggo Tarasov, the man who used to be Wick’s former employer, is that he evolves in a strange way during the film. Michael Nyqvist does a good job of showing Viggo going from the powerful crime boss who doesn’t want to kill John Wick because of what he knows he is capable of but begrudgingly does to despising Wick and finally to accepting his death even before it happened. It was a strange evolution of a character but an interesting one.

John Wick is a great action movie and has the potential of being a great trilogy with the lush universe the writers have created in The Continental. Keanu Reaves steals the show as John Wick but that doesn’t mean there isn’t great performances from supporting characters in the film.

I really enjoyed this movie. So much so that I’d say it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.

Pros:

+ Lush universe backed up by great supporting performances

+ Brilliant performance by Keanu Reaves as John Wick

+ Action was very enjoyable