Everyone dies in John Wick. Everyone. Hahaha. just kidding. I know I promised that this would be a spoiler-free review. Not everyone dies in John Wick. It just seems that way. The movie starts off with the lead character dying, then moves to a funeral, then an animal dies, quickly followed by pretty much anyone else who appears on the screen. Some characters are felled before you even get a chance to know their names. “Hi, my name is Frank Sever-AAAAUUUUGGGHHHHH!” It’s that kind of movie. I’m pretty sure that a few people in the credits at the end got offed, solely out of habit.
Official Dogs On Drugs West Coast correspondent and Hollywood Insider Vesta Vayne pointed me towards a Huffington Post review that claims that the lead character alone kills 78 people. That’s a lot of deaths, although I guess that’s relative. In Detroit, for example, that’s a slow Tuesday afternoon. But make no mistake about it, John Wick is muhfuggin’ violent.
That’s not to say that the movie isn’t any good. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you’re a fan of Keanu Reeves or of seeing people get shot in the face. It’s fast-paced, stylish as all hell, and tremendous fun to watch, which always bugs me a little bit. I always feel weird cheering on a character who’s essentially orphaning kids. “Yes! Take that, bad guy! Now your kids will grow up without a daddy!” Weird.
What’s really weird is that we’re so casual about violence in this country while we tiptoe around the topic of sex as if we’re fucking Amish. All of us will grow up and wind up having sex one day (unless you were unlucky enough to be born with withered, non-functional genitalia, like Justin Beiber), but very few of us outside of Detroit will commit a murder. Sex is something that brings people joy, while murder permanently robs a person of the gift of life. Yet, Keanu Reeves can kill 78 people in cold blood, and no one blinks an eye, but we catch a split second glance of Janet Jackson’s nipple and everyone loses their goddamn mind.
Remember when that happened? My God, you would have thought that she’d blown the Pope during Sesame Street to judge by the reaction that got. I, myself, didn’t see it until well after the fact. Here’s how I found out about it.
Greg: What happened? Did I miss something? I thought it was half time!
Some Guy: Justin Timberlake just ripped Janet Jackson’s shirt off!
Greg: What? Like, she was topless?
Some Guy: Well, no, it was part of her shirt. But you saw her tits.
Some Guy: Well, one tit. Actually just her nipple. And it had on some weird kind of, I dunno, nipple jewelry…
Greg: So what did you see, exactly?
Some Guy: About a half of a second of the tip of Janet Jackson’s right nipple.
And that was enough to spur congressional hearings, record fines levied by the FCC, and ultimately led to the death by lethal injection of Janet’s brother Michael, although to be honest I don’t really pay a lot of attention to the Jackson family, so I may have gotten that part wrong. The Jackson family is like a particularly bad acid trip: You see a lot of shit, none of it makes any sense, and it’s a whole lot easier if you just ignore it all and pretend it didn’t happen.
In fact, you could make a fun game out of that if you were so inclined:
Acid Trip or Jackson Family?
Host: Ok, are we ready contestants? Here is your first clue: Bubbles the chimp, a single spangled glove, and a wandering 50 foot robot that terrorizes the desert outside of Las Vegas…
Host: Yes, contestant number 1, you have an answer?
Contestant #1: Well, that makes absolutely no fucking sense in this universe or any other, so I’m going to say it’s all stuff related to the Jackson family.
Host: You are correct!
(Latoya Jackson runs onstage dressed in pudding, blows the contestant)
That robot thing isn’t made up, mind you. Michael Jackson seriously wanted a 50 foot robotic Michael Jackson robot to wander the Nevada desert to advertise the fact that he was, I dunno, completely apeshit loonball crazy on drugs I guess.
Actually, I wouldn’t mind having a giant Dogs On Drugs-bot roaming around Phoenix. That sounds like it could be a lot of laughs.
News anchor: Breaking news: a 100 foot android broke into a liquor store this afternoon, mooned a senior citizen center, then opened fire with a powerful bank of laser beams, vaporizing a local auditorium where washed up, B-list musician Kenny Loggins was playing a concert. Luckily, there was nobody in attendance, so no one important died. Now over to Ken Brickley, with sports!
Maybe I could team up with the Stephen Hawking Transformer and do a festive jig around the holidays or something. Something to think about, I guess.
All of which is meant to say that I highly recommend seeing John Wick, giving it four out of five Robotic Michael Jacksons.