Movie: John Wick (2014)

(Watched 06/25/17 – why have I not written consistently in so long????  Ugh)

I really liked this movie.  And, although a review of it will not happen, I enjoyed the sequel (to a much lesser extent).  I would recommend watching both back-to-back, like I did.  I am not sure why I did not watch the movie when it first came out.  I believe (for me) there is a stigma with Keanu in which I think his movies can be hit or miss, in the middle, somewhere on the edge of being grand.  And, I sometimes will not watch them because I don’t want to take the time to find which side of the fence they will fall on.  Which is not fair, really.  I actually have like the majority of his movies.  It is just that little nagging voice in the back of my head that stalls my interest.

Thoughts I had while watching the movie:

  • Keanu is left-handed.  Interesting.  Non movie point but interesting.
  • One of my fave exchanges: You struck my son – He stole John Wick’s car and killed his dog, sir – Oh
  • It had great action moments with the right amount of chuckles sprinkled in.
  • Keanu truly is the master of the headshot.
  • Wait…is that the guy without the wiener on Game of Thrones??  It ISSS!  I really wanted John Wick to yell “REEEEKKKK!!!” at him!
  • I jotted a note to check the kill count – according to the director, Chad Stahelski, that number is 84. Previous counts by various bloggers were off because they did not count the extra 8 persons in SUVs.  It was palpable the number of people killed (for a dog, essentially).
  • The movie has amazing shoot out stunts.
  • Willem Dafoe…. I love to say Willem and generally will mumble his first name as he appears on screen.  I also like how in all the movies he seems to always be da-foe…. See what I did there?  Bet he NEVER gets that!
  • I wonder if the Marcus Aurelio is a play on the Roman historical figu…wait, that’s Aurelius….. still.
  • Awwwww puppies.
  • Movie also has GREAT city scapes of NYC.
  • Give it an A-

This is another set of movies that I would more than likely by the combo two set DVDs when they hit the cheap bin at the Walmart.  I have heard rumors of #3.  Not sure that I will commit to watching another one.  But….maybe.

“That fucking nobody is John Wick.” scene:

IMDB Synopsis: An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.  (I always love using IMDB’s one-liners but the thing that gives me the giggles is essentially his “everything” started with the dog.)



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 86% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 80% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.9/5 with a number of User Ratings: 80,447.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 24 October 2014 (USA) / Runtime: 101 minutes / Budget: $20M

IMDB Trivia:

  • According to Keanu Reeves, he did ninety percent of his own stunts in the film.
  • Michael Nyqvist cut his entire head open during a shooting of a scene with a stuntman, leaving his ear resting on his right shoulder. This resulted in eighty stitches. Some of the last scenes had to be re-done to hide Nyqvist’s scar.
  • Chad Stahelski and David Leitch were concerned about how the audience would react to all of the death within the film (especially the puppy). So when casting the character of Iosef Tarasov, they wanted someone who looked like a complete “prick”. Consequently, they met Alfie Allen, and thought he was perfect for the role (and also a very nice person).
  • According to the directors’ commentary, when they shot the top-level nightclub fight sequence, Keanu Reeves had the flu, and was running a 104° Fahrenheit fever.
  • In the original script, the character of John Wick was written with “a man in his mid-sixties” to play the role, given the title character’s fabled reputation, ergo, the filmmakers had initially imagined an older actor. However, head of Thunder Road Pictures, Basil Iwanyk, decided against this, stating, “Instead, we decided to look for someone who is not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world.”
  • The security guard who waves Wick onto the airport runway is reading the 1970s thriller novel “Shibumi” by Rod Whitaker, under the pen name Trevanian, also about a retired master assassin dragged back into the game. The story Viggo tells about how Wick once killed three men “with a pencil” is describing a crucial scene from the same novel.
  • The tattoo shown on Wick’s back during the shower scene is the Latin phrase “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat”, which literally translates to Fortune Favors the Bold. This is used as the motto of several military units over the world.
  • John Wick is referred to as the one who you send to kill “Baba Yaga”. In Slavic lore, Baba Yaga is usually portrayed as a witch that lives in a house standing on chicken legs. She is often portrayed in a scary way, but tends to act more like a trickster. Even so, she has been known to be helpful to those who are pure of heart.
  • During the safe house scene, the character’s user name displayed in the top right is “Neo”. This is a reference to Keanu Reeves‘ character in The Matrix trilogy.
  • The film reunites Keanu Reeves, Daniel Bernhardt, and Randall Duk Kim, along with producers-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, all of whom were involved in The Matrix Trilogy.
  • When Wick is in the Red Circle’s changing room, at the sink, you can see his wrist watch is turned inside, suggesting that he’s former military.
  • American muscle cars in movie are 1969 Mustang GT with a 390 ci( mistaken for a 429 Boss Mustang), 1970 SS 454 LS6 Chevelle, a 2011 Dodge Charger LD, and the 1968 Dodge Charger in Aureilo’s Garage.
  • The alcohol John drinks throughout the film is Blanton’s bourbon.
  • One of Michael Nyqvist’s final acting roles before his death on June 27th 2017.
  • Paying homage to Keanu Reeves‘ history of saying “Whoa” in films, many of this film’s characters say “Oh” in a similar way whenever John Wick’s name is mentioned. However, the directors deliberately avoided having Keanu’s character saying it.
  • Willem Dafoe (Marcus) and John Leguizamo (Aurelio) both share a birthday: July 22.


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