The independent London newspaper

Assassin’s creed

17 May, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

Keanu Reeves in John Wick

Directed by Chad Stahelski
Certificate 15

THE great kung fu movies tend to go overload with the amazing fight choreography but lay it on top of a parable with a good-guy story at its heart. Think of films by the likes of Donnie Yen and the younger Jackie Chan – away from the acrobatic, athletic violence, there is a fairytale tucked inside.

This third instalment of the Keanu Reeves vehicle about killer-for-hire John Wick has plenty of the kung fu fight scene stuff – it feels like every frame has a stunt – but the message beneath it all is not quite clear. Maybe there isn’t one.

Wick is on the run, with just one safe haven in the world – the Continental Hotel in New York, run by comrade Winston (Ian McShane).

Apparently he has done in an assassin from the High Table gang, a type of international Freemasons of paid killers. It means he no longer enjoys their protection and there is a bounty on his head of $14million, and at every corner, at every turn, under every bed, there is a tooled-up, ninja-skilled psychopath wanting to collect.

With an excellent supporting cast – Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Laurence Fishburne – and a big-budget action sensibility, this two-hour fight scene will certainly satisfy the Wick fans.

Particularly nice is the analogue world of old telephones and chalk boards on the one hand, and then a Modernism to the sets with interiors designed to ensure there is as much glass to be thrown through as possible.

Perhaps not as neo-noir as the previous two films, it is unashamedly comic book, and for that works very well.


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