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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

KEANU REEVES PLAYS HITMAN IN “JOHN WICK” – SURPRISES WITH UNEXPECTED USE OF ARTILLERY IN ACTION SCENES–Pioneer Films

One of Hollywood’s top lead actors, 50-year old Keanu Reeves is at the top of his game- physique and stamina even better to-date in the full-throttle action-packed film “John Wick” as he takes on the titular role of a retired assassin who hunts down his adversaries with the ruthlessness that made him a crime underworld legend.

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After the sudden death of his beloved wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan), John Wick (Reeves) receives one last gift from her, a beagle puppy named Daisy, and a note imploring him not to forget how to love. But John’s mourning is interrupted when his 1969 Boss Mustang catches the eye of sadistic thug Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen). When John refuses to sell the car, Iosef and his henchmen break into his house and steal it, beating John unconscious and leaving Daisy dead. Unwittingly, they have just reawakened one of the most brutal assassins the underworld has ever seen.

John’s search for his stolen vehicle takes him to a side of New York City that tourists never see, a hyper-real, super-secret criminal community, where John Wick was once the baddest guy of all. After learning that his attacker is the only son of a former associate, vicious Russian crime boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), John turns his attention to vengeance. As word spreads that the legendary hit man is after his son, Viggo offers a generous bounty to anyone who can bring John down. With a veritable army on his trail, John once again becomes the remorseless killing machine the underworld once feared, launching a pitched battle against Viggo and his soldiers that could mean the end of them both.

Given the character’s fabled career as an assassin, the filmmakers initially imagined an older actor in the role. “Instead, we decided to look for someone who is not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world,” “Keanu Reeves is someone I’ve always wanted to work with.”

Reeves’ impeccable action pedigree, which includes the groundbreaking “Matrix” trilogy, two chapters of the blockbuster “Speed” franchise and the daredevil adventure “Point Break,” has justifiably earned him iconic status in the action world,” says producer Basil Iwanyk.

Reeves signed on to headline John Wick, working closely with the writer to refine the story. “Basil and Peter Lawson of Thunder Road brought the script to me with the idea that I would be a part of such a great collaboration,” the actor says. “We all agreed on the potential of the project. I love the role, but you want the whole story, the whole ensemble to come to life.”

Set to open this weekend (October 24-26) in the US, online entertainment website Screenrant picks “John Wick” to be number one at the box-office with extremely positive reviews from its early screenings. Jordan Huffman of The Guardian has this to say of the movie’s action scenes, “Veteran stuntmen and second unit directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, making their debut as feature directors, stage the action with a fierce clarity. John Wick kills his way through neon nightclubs, art deco-inspired hotel rooms and eerily lit churches. Unlike, say, the work of John Woo, there isn’t a reliance on slow-motion, which affords the blunt, direct to the head gun-fu – a “holy cow, did he just do that?” shock value. When you think you’ve seen John Wick twist in the most acrobatic way to blast the baddie sneaking up behind him, he’ll strike another pose that tops it.”

“John Wick” blasts into (local) theatres nationwide on October 30 (from Pioneer Films).