I like most of Keanu Reeves' work as an actor long before the MATRIX films. Given the right script, the right director and decent co-stars, Keanu is capable of great things in film.
However, of late, he's made an unfortunate series of action turds, stemming from bad scripts, inept direction and a mish-mash of non-collaborators on screen. I've seen them and been duly disappointed.
Then, along comes JOHN WICK... and, yeah, I'm thinkin' Keanu's really back, in his own stride, in the action genre, in a vehicle that is franchise worthy and original (as opposed to something ripped from the comic books, er, graphic novels). There's also a non-Wachowsky MATRIX heritage here behind the cameras, too.
No spoiler's from me, though.
All I will say is that is that's Keanu *is* John Wick and Wick's gun play and CQB (judo & jiu-jitsu inspired) are both practical and photogenic, worthy of slo-mo replay and review. It's exactly how I'd hope to conduct myself under similar circumstances. Bravo, Keanu! And co-directors Stahelski and (uncredited) Leitch.
You will recognize almost all of the co-stars, but, more importantly, they are all throwing in together, as an ensemble, to make JOHN WICK work as a nice piece of action-thriller work. These characters are thought out and thought through for the sake of the story, not merely for the sake of serving up genre archetypes.
I will say, that it's always nice to see the double-feed tube Kel-Tec KSG shotgun put to good, unassuming use in the service of "story," too.