Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top 5 Movie Shootouts: #5) John Wick (the Red Circle)

I'm ready to tee off another Top 5, and this time I'm going to break down my favorite movie shootouts for you.  Many of the films set to make this list are classics that will be hard to argue, but there will also be some contention.  I have no doubt that my choice for the #1 spot on this list will not sit well with many, but it's an easy call as far as I'm concerned.  Additionally, I do want to point out that I'm excluding war films from this Top 5.  I may revisit them with a Top 5 Combat Scenes at some point or something of that ilk, but they didn't really seem to fit with what I'm going for here.  As always, I welcome your thoughts on my selections, and I'm equally interested in hearing about your choices, so feel free to drop a comment and give me your take.

I'm going to get things started with my choice for the #5 spot on this list, and this one goes to the new bloods.

Top 5 Movie Shootouts: #5) John Wick (the Red Circle)

I'm a big Keanu Reeves fan.  I have lots of love for so many of his movies, going all the way back to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  I consider Point Break to be a classic so far as guilty pleasures go, and I like The Matrix as much as anyone.  Hell, I have even gone to bat for Keanu's work in Francis Ford Coppola's epic take on Dracula, and that performance is reviled by most everyone for reasons I fail to comprehend.  One of Keanu's most surprising hits arrived in 2014, when John Wick seemingly came out of nowhere and reminded everyone that Reeves is a true cinema badass.

John Wick is one hell of a thrill ride, with the highlight being a spectacular shootout at a club called the Red Circle.  This dazzling setpiece showcases some killer choreography and clearly displays Keanu at his very best.  For those who don't know, this dude is all about training for his roles and bringing as much legitimate action to the proceedings as possible.  Whether we're talking about learning martial arts or tearing up the shooting range with a variety of guns, the man is dedicated.  In scenes like this, it shows up on the screen in a big way.

In addition to riddling bad guys with bullets, this shootout gets some serious bonus points for mixing in a lot of killer martial arts.  Of particular note is the presence of Daniel Bernhardt as a serious rival who actually gets the better of Wick as this wicked shootout comes to an end.  Bernhardt previously squared off against Reeves in The Matrix Reloaded and provides a credible threat, and that greatly amps up the intensity of this thrilling sequence.

I greatly enjoyed John Wick and it succeeded largely because of Keanu's presence and the amazing stunt work.  While the whole movie is loaded with excitement, it's the shootout at the Red Circle that really puts it over the top, and I find it worthy of inclusion on this list.  In fact, I seriously debated ranking it higher, but the #5 spot will have to do.

. . .

Stay tuned, peeps--there are some classic movies coming up on this list, as well as a cult classic and a personal favorite at #1 that will have my coolest readers nodding their heads in agreement while everyone else wonders if I've gone cuckoo*.

*Pretty sure that happened sometime during the 80s.  Yes, I was only a child then, but it was the 80s.

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