Monday, 28 December 2015


“Even today we raise our hand against our brother... We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.” - Pope Francis

Over the Christmas period we watched several films on DVD, given the festivities, time off work and the general indolence of the period. One of the films was the ‘Dick Flick’ from 2014 directed by Chad Stahelski, “John Wick”, starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki. As one expects from a Hollywood Action Thriller, this was a slick production with all the requisite basics fulfilled, such as competent actors, good costumes and sets, special effects, music, editing, etc… And it was a typical action thriller with lots of action and lots of gratuitous violence – quite a huge amount of violence!

The plot centres on John Wick (Reeves), who is a mob hit man who, upon falling in love, quits and gets married. Five years later, his wife dies of cancer and to make sure he’s not alone in the immediate period after her death, she has arranged for a puppy to be brought to him after her funeral. A few days later, some thugs wanting to steal his car break into his house, beat him up and kill his dog. When he recovers, he sets to revenge himself on the ones who killed his dog. He learns that the leader of the thugs is the son of his former employer, Viggo Tarasov (Nyqvist). Undeterred, John Wick sets about to kill the thugs. Viggo, wanting to protect his son, tries to have Wick killed and this is the premise for a whole lot of action involving lots of violence, bloody altercations, gunfire, chases, more violence and lots of blood and gore.

There was nothing subtle about this movie and it was squarely aimed at the audience that equate good movies with lots of blood, gore and violence. Although we watched it to the end, we used the fast forward button quite liberally. It could have been a better movie, had it been more restrained. However, the IMDB score of 7.2/10 from 212,620 users really says something about the box office success of movies like this. We live in a violent society and movies such as this pander to the tastes of the viewers who thirst for such entertainments. Such was the case in Ancient Rome with the gladiatorial contests, I guess. Watch at your own risk…

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