At the beginning of the 2010s, Hollywood action cinema consisted mainly of superhero films, which have been popular since “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight” experienced a real boom, other high-budget productions such as “Fast & Furious 5”, “Mission Impossible 4” and “James Bond: Skyfall”, which came up with global adventures and crazy stunts, as well as various smaller espionage and revenge Thrillers, all of which worked off the shaky cam style of the “Bourne” films that had been established ten years earlier. Especially in the mid-budget area, however, there was a lack of fresh wind, until 2014 with “John Wick“ Perhaps the most influential action film of the last ten years was released.
This Sunday, August 14, 2022, “John Wick“ on ProSieben. Thanks to the late broadcast at 10:20 p.m., the FSK 16 actioner can be seen uncut there. Alternatively you can “John Wick“ also stream on Netflix, Joyn PLUS and on the prime video channel FILMTASTIC.
›› “John Wick” at Joyn*
›› “John Wick” on Amazon Prime Video*
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a legendary hit man who quit his job to live a quiet life with his wife (Bridget Moynahan). However, when she dies of an illness, she leaves him a small puppy. The four-legged friend is all that John has in life, but then he too is killed – by Iosef (Alfie Allen), the simple-minded son of the powerful crime boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist). Viggo knows that Iosef has dug his own grave with it. In desperation, he sends the one who is looking for revenge John Wick heaps on his henchmen to save his son. But no one seems to be able to compete with this resurrected angel of death…
Who would have thought that a film about a man who wants to avenge his dog would become a cult classic in no time? Here is “John WickSo fascinating for two main reasons. On the one hand there is the world building, which is unusually well thought out for an action film. There is a whole subculture of contract killers with their own social rules and traditions who know, respect and fear each other.
Even more important, however, is the action itself, which was staged in gun fu style. It’s an approach that mixes firefights and martial arts brawls in equal measure. Gun Fu has its roots in Hong Kong and became popular with action aficionados across national borders, mainly due to the films of John Woo. But in Hollywood, the subgenre, which shines with particularly stylish and meticulously choreographed action sequences, has been neglected for a long time when you think of “Matrix’ and refrains from imitators.
While “Matrix” but overstylized his combat routines with super powers and CGI effects, celebrated “John Wick“Gun Fu in its purest form. Everything the titular hero does would probably also be physically possible in the real world. But the perfection and efficiency with which John Wick executing his kills is what makes him an almost supernatural being. The fights in the action hit live from a fascinating dichotomy. On the one hand there is the uncompromising brutality – John Wick distributes headshots in cold blood like on an assembly line – but on the other hand also an incredibly aesthetic staging.
Rarely has a US action film been as stylish and at the same time as brutal as this revenge thriller. As perverse as it may sound: “John Wick“ turns mass murder into something almost sublime. The film is not a clumsy shooting orgy, but a carefully arranged shooting ballet in which every movement flows precisely into the next.
Meanwhile, the “John Wick’ formula firmly established in Hollywood. The two directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch used it successfully as directors and producers in the following years: from “Atomic Blonde” to “Nobody” and “Kate” to the recently released Netflix film “Day Shift”. Not to forget the “John Wick’ series itself, the fourth part of which is already in the works. But even with films in which the “John Wick’ creators, such as ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ and ‘The Protégé’, the influence of the assassin action launched in 2014 is clearly felt.
So the Keanu Reeves vehicle is already a piece of action history. If you “John Wick“ if you missed it until today, today’s TV broadcast now offers the chance to finally catch up.
*These links are so-called affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links or subscribe, we will receive a commission. This has no effect on the price.