John Wick – 300 (Parabellum)

WickI use the number 300 instead of 3 – for the third installment of the John Wick, the master assassin. Seeing the film with an action-appreciating buddy, we couldn’t keep track of the bad guys killed by Wick. He commented later that it was the highest body count he’d ever seen in a movie, a bold statement considering other slaughter movies we’d seen, like Rambo 3 or Hacksaw Ridge.

I’ve always liked Keanu Reeves and that includes his John Wick character, but I started to chuckle after his first 30 or 40 kills. The man deserves credit for the way he handles himself in the action sequences – basically a two hour long chase and fight scene. He masterfully handles an assortment of weapons that must have taken hours of practice to successfully operate.

If you don’t mind a few dozen blood-spattering head shots and an overly violent plot, this movie could be for you. I do find it odd though, in this day and age, how movie makers can present us with such mindless slaughter, and add a dry touch of humor to make the film more entertaining.┬áIn a way this movie reminded me of the Walking Dead – the bad guys weren’t dead until you shot them in the head, in many cases more than once.

Enough about the violence. The movie has a highly paid all-star cast, perhaps to give the flick some credibility with movie buffs. I have to say I was shocked at the other online reviews I read from sites like Roger Ebert and company. So maybe it was just me…and my buddy, who thought there was enough carnage to call the John Wick movies a trilogy and leave it at that.

Cathryn could never have sat through this movie with her eyes open. I don’t think my buddy was too impressed. For the sake of mindless entertainment I give it 5 out of 10.

Wondrous Wonder Woman

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The latest big screen action hero epic from DC Comics introduces Wonder Woman, or Diana, princess of the Amazons, to us useless mortals on planet earth. It seems the Amazons, with their complete woman warrior society, has found a better way to live at peace.

Cathryn and I both like how WW was introduced to the world, near the end of the war to end all wars. Chris Pine is a spy and humorous sidekick to our hero. Neither understands the other’s world, but it’s Wonder Woman who chooses to leave her paradise island to help mankind.

Cinematography, turn-of-the-century costumes, and CGI make this film a big screen delight. It’s also in 3D, but we were quite happy to watch it in two dimensions from the brand-spanking new recliner chairs at Lakeshore Cinemas.

Gal Gadot is about to become the richest female actress in the world with this franchise and the other upcoming super hero movies she’s joining.

Cathryn gives Wonder Woman a 10 and I’m giving it a 9 – only because I thought the story line was a bit sappy at times. It is still a great action flick.

Going Back – Reacher 2

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So I’m one of those Jack Reacher fans who always comments on how Tom Cruise doesn’t fit the main character in Lee Childs books of the same name. Having said that, I must admit that Cruise’s acting fills the void in his character’s size.

In Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, our hero adds two female sidekicks. That is very unusual for Reacher, who, at one point states, “I usually work alone.” His two female partners in crime fighting soften the story somewhat, adding both humor and sexual tension.

The depth of Cruise’s acting is shown in his subtle facial expressions, when he learns that his companions can actually help him catch the bad guys. Some critics say the movie lacked superhero action, but that’s the whole idea behind Jack Reacher-he’s not a superhero. He’s only one man.

The movie wasn’t really a sequel to the first, just Reacher’s continuing adventures while he travels around the country. Cathryn and I thought it did well on it’s own and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We both gave the movie a 9 out of 10.