Pixel Tracker

Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 11:01 pm | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Cinema in Focus: ‘John Wick’

1 Star — Destructive

It is rare that we see a film that is so void of any positive values. John Wick wins the award for the most gory gunshots to the heads of bad guys of any movie in recent history.

Wick (Keanu Reeves), who left the mafia to get married and settle down, is left in a vulnerable position after his wife unexpectedly dies as the result of an illness. So, when another bad guy’s son shoots Wick’s puppy, it unleashes a pit-bull response that rips dozens, if not hundreds, of other bad guys from the face of the Earth and sends them to another form of the Hell in which they live.

Don’t look for any socially redeeming value other than the fact that bad guys are taken off the street. This is not a film about justice being served. Rather, it is about vengeance being experienced.

In many ways, this film is a natural extension of the video game world in which so many young people live today. You get points for how many people you can shoot in a one-minute period. Killing them is not enough, though; you have to do it with enough blood and gore to get the audience to think that this is “Chainsaw Massacre Revisited” or some similar celebration of gratuitous violence.

If we could have given a film a “negative 1,” we would have. This takes the prize for the worst film of the year!

Discussion

» Do you think vengeance is every justified? What if it was Wick’s wife rather than his dog that was killed? What happens when we go far beyond an eye for an eye and give death for a dog’s death?

» This is the debut film for director David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. Having had a long career as stunt men, it is as though they have gory stunts for no purpose. Derek Kolstad wrote the screenplay, but it is only his third script and lacks depth. What would you have done to make the film better?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.