The APAHM Project Day 4: John Wick
Film: John Wick
Director: Chad Stahelski
Where to watch it: Free on Xfinity until 5/9 or Free on Fandango on 5/8
Why it made the list:
It seemed that everyone was obsessed with Keanu Reeves last year. People photoshopped him as Disney princes and he gained popularity when he road-tripped with travelers to LA. He took his mom as his date to the Oscars and even has a song about him sung by Randall Park (from tomorrow’s APAHM movie!) It’s no secret as to why everyone was crazy for Keanu in 2019 and him making his appearance as assassin John Wick for the third time last year definitely helps.
Besides “John Wick”, Reeves is probably best known for his roles as Neo in “The Matrix” series and Jack Traven in “Speed.” But what people may not know, is that he was raised mostly by his paternal grandmother, who is of Chinese descent. His father is of Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, English, and Irish descent. (However, Reeves is Canadian, an oversight on my end, so sorry he doesn’t fit the American criteria.)
I knew nothing about this film except that John Wick’s dog is killed and he seeks revenge. Recently becoming a dog parent myself, I can’t imagine the pain he went through, especially since the puppy was a gift from his dying wife who felt that the puppy would be a great way for him to care and love something after she was gone. Well, Wick became a widow just a few days ago, still hasn’t even had the chance to get his puppy any kibble, and then these Russian punks break into his house so they can steal his 1969 Mustang (which they saw him driving earlier at the gas station). In the process, they beat Wick and his puppy, causing her to die.
My mother often claims she would take drastic measures if anything ever happened to our dog, and frankly, I probably would too, so I don’t blame John Wick here for going after these men. It is revealed that Wick used to be an assassin, going by the name The Boogeyman” and used to work for a Russian syndicate under a man named Viggo, whose son is the one who killed Wick’s puppy.
Reeves delivers a great performance full of intense action sequences and also heartfelt emotions of grief. William DeFoe also delivered a great performance. The cinematography was exciting, I loved the colors in The Circle scene and they way they shot these scenes. Lastly, I liked the idea that this syndicate exists in the normal world but have their own hotels, clubs, and even cleaning crews. Other than that, there wasn’t much keeping my interest, despite action being my favorite film genre. There was a lot of killing and chasing and hunting people down, something you would expect from a movie about an assassin. However, the film was popular enough to make three more of them, the fourth slated for a 2022 release.
Does it deserve to stay on the list?
Keanu Reeves is one of the few Asian male actors who have landed a lead role in an American action movie. And not just one movie, but 2 successful movie franchises, each coming out with 4th installations in the near future. His impeccable acting in “John Wick” definitely heavily lends itself to the film’s success. With Keanu’s continuous rise in popularity and his ever-growing filmography list, he’s definitely an Asian actor that our community can be proud of and be excited to watch. Tomorrow‘s film will have Reeves in an entirely different kind of role in which he plays himself. Until then, why not check out the rest of the films in the “John Wick” series?