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Watch a 20-minute explanation of why you and I are John Wick

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One of the best action films of the decade, deconstructed

One of the most annoying aspects of the conversation around John Wick is that, due to the fact that it’s almost all action, some people call it "dumb." Or insist that you have have to "turn off your brain" to enjoy it. I hope watching the video above will help dispel that idea, at least a bit.

John Wick is anything but dumb, although if I squint at this description in a dark room I can kind of understand it. John Wick is economical. If whittling is the act of seeing an object inside a chunk of wood and removing everything that isn’t that object, the creators and actors of John Wick started with a chunk of wood that’s literally the entirety of action cinema up until 2014, and removed everything that isn’t John Wick.

Action cinema informed every aspect of the film, but John Wick is so singular in vision that it stands in sharp contrast to so many action films that seem like they exist inside a haze of unnecessary noise. The perfectly unreasonable amount of work the actors in John Wick put into preparing for the role also allowed such clear, beautiful camera work that nearly every other action movie released in the past year suffers in comparison.

John Wick is damn near perfect.