Dear Mr. Wick,
Infrequently we get a redefining moment in a genres’ history, so one can only hope that your films will rub off on other action movies.
Worry not of The Guardian writer Jordan Hoffman’s notion that your films are a ‘shameful example of gun pornography’. Guns have always been the big, bouncing boobies of the action genre. There is a reason Charlie Sheen parodies Rambo in his Hot Shots movies, there is a reason guns and explosions feature so prominently as icons of action films, and it’s because we aren’t here for the plot. We are here for the stinging one-liners of McClane and Schwarzenegger (take your pick of films) and the mind-numbing thrill of the action set-piece.
As with Hoffman, there’s always going to be the one guy who questions whether ‘we have to’ enjoy this? He uses ‘we’ here to include all of you in also enjoying a film that beckons a ‘miasma of shame’ immediately afterwards, turning the subjective into the pseudo-objective. To bring up desensitisation when it comes to cinematic carnage is a tried, tested and failed grasp at a short straw. Fear not Mr. Wick, psychological studies have thrown up nothing concrete on whether violence in video games and films desensitises us any less to real-world violence and atrocities. We leave our moral compass at the theatre door, instead of deriving implications that are not far from Fox New’s links to video games and school shooters.
Could it be that you, Mr.Wick, do it slicker and better than other movies of the genre? Audiences are here for visceral gun play and over the top video game violence framed by stunning cinematography, masterful self-controlled editing backed by a sexy soundtrack.
Your gun-fu is obviously more fluid and realistic than experienced in that of Equilibrium, and unlike many other films of the action genre, we can enjoy actually being able to see and understand the action that is untangling brutally and unapologetically on-screen, as opposed to trying to make sense of the same thirty-shots-a-second blur of an edit spectators have become unfortunately accustomed to. Your plot isn’t what truly matters (hell, your original film was a hit and that was a revenge story concerning a puppy you didn’t probably want until your wife died), you are a hitman and you kill people in the most subjectively slickest of styles.
Hoffman talks about being shell-shocked by action films following the release of your first film, which he incidentally gave four stars. I’m not sure whether the brave writer who ‘hurles himself atop grenades’ for film reviews knows what ‘shell-shocked’ means, but I’m not entirely sure which and how many films could have possibly caused such PTSD within him since 2014. It seems a bit melodramatic. It is when he compares your sequel to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 2004 film about Hitler’s secretary Downfall, based on the ‘urgent themes, historical resonance and dramatic tension’ of the headshots within the film does he reveal his elitist, snobbish point of view (#deep). Popping several slugs to the cabbage of an unwitting henchman through a historically political lens is neither what the filmmakers or audiences want from you, Mr. Wick, for we can enjoy both yourself and Downfall regardless of the context of a bullet through the melon.
Besides, do we really want The Lake House Keanu Reeves over John Wick Keanu Reeves?
I will be reviewing your film as soon as it comes out on DVD, so keep a well-trained eye out. Don’t change, Mr.Wick.
The Film Fanatic