A vigilante action flick that doesn't quite pull off the action.
Okay, a short summary of the plot before I continue. John Wick is a legendary ex-hitman that is supposedly a super bad ass assassin. However, he retired to be with his wife who then died of a terminal illness years later. On the day she dies, she gives him a dog, which she asks him to love and cherish because he needs that kind of direction in his life. Later on, criminals break into his house to steal his car and kill his dog in the process. Turns out the criminal is the son of the mafia don he used to work for and John goes on a revenge-spree, killing everyone who gets in his way and things get real.
With that out of the way, I'll have to say this about the film. It's very very cliche. Which is a huge issue because the characters in the film are just 3D tropes; except for the actor who played the Green Goblin, that guy had style. The bad guys are needlessly antagonistic and evil so the audience can say "Oh, they're so evil". I mean, why would a rich dude's son purposely break into another persons house while on the way back from some super important mission his criminal dad sent to him to perform (ignoring the question of how he found him first), beat up the guy, kill the dog and then leave the guy alive? I mean, at some point, you have to realise the story is driven by plot contrivance and not actual story-telling. Like at the end, where there's this female assassin who's been after John Wicks, and she gets a call and then goes to meet some people she KNOWS she's displeased. She gets there, there's 4 vs 1 of her and then boom, she gets shot in the head without trying to fight back.
Also, there's the action scenes which are somewhat anaemic. They lack the kinetic energy of Kick-ass, RED or a lot of other vigilante films really. As someone who's supposed to be a super assassin, John Wick moves quite slowly at most times and his opponents seem content with going up to try and judo-chop him instead of shooting him with the gun they have in their hand. Or even worse, going up to him to shoot him, which makes soooo much more sense -_-. I'm not saying there aren't some cool sequences in the film but there really aren't enough.
In the end, I'll say this. John Wick is watchable, not great, but if you really want something to do to pass your time and you don't mind spending the cash, you can consider watching John Wick. It's still better than his last film, 47 Ronin. And yes, this is literally the definition of damning with faint praise.