starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe
screenplay by Derek Kolstad
directed by Chad Stahelski
by Walter Chaw Essentially a remake of Kim Jee-woon's A Bittersweet Life shot through with oodles of late-'80s John Woo gunplay, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski's John Wick is, damnit, really just so much fun. Existing in a fascinating universe that marks it as one of the better comic-book adaptations without origins in an actual comic book, it features Keanu Reeves as the titular angry guy, taking on the Russian mob because they killed his dog. That's it. The way John Wick gets from point A to point B, though, with a reliance on what appear to be practical effects and a strong, smart use of Reeves's sinewy grace and muscularity, is a thing of action-movie beauty. Ultimately, it's a showcase for elaborate stunt-work and fight choreography, and, because I'm starting to think of Stahelski's film like the films directed by Yuen Wo Ping, that's totally all right.