I was 7 years old when Speed came out in 1994. I was perhaps not old enough to watch it at the time, but I had an older brother, and I was allowed to do most things he did — except pee standing up. When I watched this film, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, I knew it was a special moment for me. Not because I was a tiny prophet predicting its future status as a classic — no, it was the moment I learned that Reeves is a fucking rock-star action hero. I've been following Reeves intermittently throughout his career. I watched movies like Constantine and The Matrix, but kept my distance from, say, The Lake House. After a while, I got nervous that Reeves wasn't going to wow me again the way he did in '94. So, it was with reluctance that I watched John Wick a few months ago — and it completely blew my mind. What's the movie about? Well, it starts off a bit sad, to be honest. Wick's wife died of a terminal illness. Knowing her death was coming, she arranged for a puppy to be sent to her widowed husband, giving him something to take care of and keep him company. They're an unlikely pair, the brooding Wick and the happy pup. But their time together is cut drastically short when a bunch of jerks invade Wick's home, steal his car, and kill the dog. Joke's on them, because Wick is a former hit man — a badass one. Think Liam Neeson in Taken, and replace Maggie Grace with a perfectly adorable little ball of Beagle cuteness. Wick's been outta the game for years, but no one's gonna kill the puppy his dead wife gifted him and get away with it. Not in his own house. It's a story line that could very easily drift into Snakes on a Plane territory. But it never does. Seriously, this movie has everything. Explosions. Keanu Reeves walking away from explosions. The tense feeling of wondering when Reeves will deliver a line so cheesy it ruins the movie, but he never actually does and it leaves you feeling both thrilled and grateful. You must watch this movie. And you should watch it soon, because Lionsgate recently announced that it's making a sequel. Also, Reeves is Canadian, which feels like an important detail to keep in mind at all times.
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