Monday, 20 February 2017

John Wick: Better Than James Bond? 7 Reasons Why

(John Wick:Chapter 2, (2017), Chad Stahelski. Image found at:

" 'Are you working, John?' 'I'm afraid so' "

Well John, I'm afraid too, afraid you're getting dangerously close to James Bond's territory and I'm absolutely loving it. The first chapter of Stahelski's John Wick character came in 2014 and unexpectedly rifled to success with fast-paced action scenes and beautiful world-building from the entrancing soundtrack to the sleek costume design. John Wick:Chapter 2 has just hit cinemas (10th/17th February) and is looking to top it's already stellar success but can it rival the best? Here's 7 reason why John Wick could well be better than Agent 007 himself.

1. It actually doesn't treat women like James Bond films, hallelujah!

It's so refreshing to have this kind of film include powerful and interesting female characters rather than have them as two dimensional eye-candy playthings for the main character. No female character is put in the film to seduce or be seduced by John Wick. No, no, no no, if you're thinking this doesn't make you gravitate toward him as much for any reason, he only needs to seduce and impress the audition. That's enough for any Western-genre-esque man idolisation or inspiration. The man is literally killing it, and the female characters and lack of stereotypes in this category of film is excellent.

2. Great story, even better storytelling

This isn't a familiar story being told, Trahelski introduces a multitude of plot-lines and themes that are in most cases a very different direction to how these shooter/thriller action movies are approached. Mr Wick just wants to retire, why won't everyone just leave him in peace? that's the start to each film and it's better every single time. He just wants to retire, leave the man and his doggo alone!

(John Wick, (2014), Chad Stahelski. Image found at:

3.  It's satisfyingly rhythmic cinema

These films are weighted on their rhythm, whether it be the audio crack of bullets in succession, subtle tension-building symphonies or action-defining hum of bass you're cruising along a wonderful cinematic flow. Stahelski has obviously put a lot of time into sound editing and manipulation as it lends itself perfectly to the action sequences of John Wick. Montage really excels in the direction of this film as the heart of each memorable scene and the best way to accompany excellent montage is with excellent rhythm.  

4. The Iconic Cult Film Characters/Cast

One of the best things about the John Wick series is the curiously creative characters that surround Wick throughout the films. Having a focus on Wick for practically the entire film, the few scenes the camera cuts away are held down by other terrific on-screen presences and the characters Wick encounters are just as intriguing as John himself. The hype of this film has proven to be justified and even after only the first film, we're seeing a lot of big names in the acting world wanting in on this action. Boasting names like Ian McShane, Willem Dafoe, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Common to name just a few. 

5. The wonderfully artistic approach 

John Wick has a vibrant and very different art style compared to the Bond series. Text graphics stylistically appear on screen throughout in a sharp neon-theme, a nod to the iconic club-shooting scenes in the series, adding a bold yet instantly recognisable aesthetic. Both films also have their soundtrack released on a sleek vinyl and both soundtracks are so lucid and precise to the action evolving from beautiful orchestra symphonies that are both ominous and threatening, ranging across smooth and satisfying  jazz sequences (See: The Candy Shop Boys - Evil Man Blues) to deep and entrancing house music (Le Castle Vania - The Red Circle). The soundtrack is as diverse as the characters and as satisfying as the story. Even within the storytelling and the intricate underground world created which is seemingly existing right under our noses, John Wick is crafted beautifully.

(John Wick, (2014), Chad Stahelski. Image found at:

6. It's New!

Some of the best aspects about Stahelski's John Wick films is their difference, the way they contrast the genre and explore new territories. There is such an attention to the uniquely stylistic nature of this series that allows for it to not simply equate to a good film, it's a good cinematic experience. The visuals, the sequences, the unknown are what push the boundaries of John Wick. "You stabbed the devil in the back! To him this is vengeance, to him this is justice". There is a plethora of quotable quotes across these two films already, the scripts of these films are fantastic and such an improvement on the genre.

7. It's Classic!

John Wick is, in Michael Cain's words, a man not to be trifled with but he is so much more, so refreshingly similar to classic shooter/thrillers like James Bond himself without being an outright mirror image. John Wick shoots the bad guys with effortless efficiency, he drives fast cars, he wears suits, he has morals we can all get behind, he's respected by all, he's feared by all and he always ends up against a foreign villian - look, the man fucking loves dogs what more can we ask for? John Wick is like Boba Fett and James Bond morphed into this cult-hero that's recently soared into mainstream media. He's suave, mysterious and dangerous and he might be the next best thing to James Bond because in as many ways as he is different, he's also a very close relative to the OG.

" John Wick, you're not very good at retiring."
"I'm working on it."

John Wick: Chapter 2 is in cinemas now.

Liam Biddle.

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