The unwritten code of Westerns is that you don’t ever, under any circumstances, harm a man’s dog.
This code also applies to the retired hitmen. At least, that’s what John Wick tells us.
An elaborate revenge story is kicked off when a trio of guys break into John Wick’s home to steal his car and end up killing his dog as well. Little did these guys know that Wick is a retired hitman who recently lost his wife to cancer and that the dog was a gift from her so he would have something to care about besides his grief and pain.
What follows is an hour plus of John pursuing the ringleader of this gang of idiots through multiple layers of organized crime and the use of a large amount of ammo. One area I’ll give John Wick credit for is that the movie occasionally sees our hero running out of ammo and having to reload.
The film gives us a good backstory for John, detailing how he was one of the most feared hitman out there and the circumstances that led to his retirement. An early, memorable scene finds John digging up his basement to unearth a suitcase full of gold coins that he will use to finance and pay-off various figures during his long vendetta. The coins are even used to pay a cleaning service to remove the bodies of half-a-dozen or so men who come to John’s home after the mafia puts out a bounty on his head.
John Wick is a clever, entertaining revenge flick that has superbly choreographed action sequences and just enough character insight to make us root for its central anti-hero. I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen it before watching a few weeks ago. But after watching it, I can see why the movie has garnered a following and prompted two sequels and an upcoming fourth entry.