Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Don’t Mess with John

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Looking for a movie to see this weekend? Check out our review of John Wick starring Keanu Reeves to decide if it’s one you would want to see.

John WickJohn Wick, rated R
** ½

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Keanu Reeves (best known for his Matrix films 1999-2003) in a movie. Actually, I believe it was eight years ago in 2006’s The Lake House with Sandra Bullock. He is back as John Wick, and he’s not to be messed with.
Wick is a retired contract killer who found love with wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan) and left that life behind. But Helen dies at the beginning of the film after an illness, and John is heartbroken. A puppy is delivered to his home after the funeral and it is a gift from Helen knowing that he would need something to love after she was gone. He quickly bonds with Daisy, as the pup follows him everywhere he goes, including in his prized 1969 Boss 429 Mustang.
While gassing up, a young Russian Iosef (Alfie Allen) offers to buy the car, but Wick says it’s not for sale, angering Iosef. Later that night Iosef and his gang of Russian thugs break into Wick’s home, beating John badly, stealing the car and killing Daisy. John is devastated about the dog (and the car) and seeks revenge. He receives a call from Russian mob boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqyist), who is furious that his son would do such a thing to Wick, as Viggo is very familiar with Wick, who was known as the Boogeyman. But it matters not, John is out for revenge – boy is he ever!
Reeves looks great at 50, and is perfect in this role of a retired contract killer out to settle one final and very personal score. As he does so, the body count is staggering. Viggo knows he is coming, but still can’t stop him. Willem Dafoe stars as an expert sniper who is offered $2 million by Viggo to take out Wick.
We really enjoyed the depiction of the Continental Hotel, where killers stay; it operates by its own set of rules (no killing on the premises) and currency (gold coins). The desk manager is superbly played by Lance Reddick.
The film is directed by first-time directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Stahelsk served as Reeves’ stunt double in the Matrix trilogy. The way they film the movie adds a lot to its effectiveness.
As you might expect, there is not much Christian content in the film. A Catholic Church is portrayed, but only as a front for Viggo’s operation. In one scene, Viggo tells John that as killers they are cursed and that is why God took John’s wife.
We enjoyed this film (yes I’ll admit it), but the over the top violence and adult language make it hard to recommend. Reeves is outstanding in the role, but overall, there is not much redeeming value to this film.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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