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There’s a chance you didn’t see John Wick in theatres. Maybe you didn’t think it looked good. Maybe you don’t like Keanu Reeves. Maybe you didn’t even know it existed. Well, we’re here to tell you John Wick does exist, and this may be one of Keanu’s greatest roles ever. In fact, it’s one of the best action movies we’ve had in years.

Here’s why:

It’s a Simple Story, Done Really Well

John Wick’s story is really basic. Keanu Reeves plays Wick, a retired hitman, whose wife dies and leaves him a present: an adorable puppy. When a couple of gangsters steal his car and kill his dog, he seeks revenge. That’s it. You’ve seen this movie and this story before. But you haven’t seen it done this well in a while. With action movies going so big now – spaceships, superheroes, apocalypses – it’s a refreshing reminder that small, well done stories can be just as thrilling.

It Has Great Action

Duh. You can’t be one of the best action movies in years without, you know, great action. John Wick has it in spades. Gunfights? Check. Fighting? Check. Fighting and guns at the same time with gun kung-fu? Big check. The action in John Wick is nothing short of badass. Brutal, pulse-pounding, and that perfect level of thrilling that makes you want to scream “That was awesome!” at the screen constantly.

It Actually Lets You See the Action

Action movies these days are suffering from a terrible affliction. Filmmakers these days seem to be hell bent on shooting action as if the cameraman is constantly sneezing, and then editing everything so quickly that you not only can’t see anything, you feel like you might go into epileptic shock. They seem to forget we watch action movies to actually see the action. John Wick does not forget this. You get to gloriously see its action in all its deserved glory. How refreshing.

It Has a Really Cool World

You don’t really expect a revenge flick to do much more than, well, lets it character avenge. John Wick is more ambitious than that. It has an incredibly rich, fun world you wouldn’t expect from such a small flick. The sub-world it creates –accessible only to assassins, criminals, and gangsters who have their own rules, cliques, and currency – is as fun to watch as the action itself. It’s like being temporarily granted VIP access to a place you didn’t even know existed. It just happens to be a place that could probably kill you in two seconds.

It Has an Amazing Cast

Okay, technically this doesn’t have anything to do with John Wick being a good action movie. But we love TV too much to not mention this: John Wick is an awesome all-you-can-eat-buffet of “Hey! That person from my favorite show!” reactions. If you’ve ever enjoyed Deadwood, Game of Thrones, The Wire or Friday Night Lights (and how could you not, are you some kind of heathen?), you will be in heaven.

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