The arrogant upstart son of a gangland boss steals the car and kills the puppy of a stranger, little knowing that he was once the most feared contract killer of the criminal underworld.
The coarse sentimentality of the opening, leading to an implausibly high but stylishly executed body count is very reminiscent of John Woo’s early films and John Wick follows a similarly emotionally manipulative but thankfully unpretentious path. Dispensing with any and all frills this film is little more than a 90 minute action sequence, packed to the gills with slickly presented death-dealing. Keanu Reeves’ laconic one-man army is very much in the same mould of The Matrix’s Neo and the comic strip violence is very reminiscent – if rather better – than the similar Wanted.
Hardly the height of depth and sophistication but if you’re in the mood for an undemanding, unpretentious blood bath John Wick may not be the measure of Taken but it’s considerably better than its sequels.