Got a threefer on the Revenge theme yesterday. Started with john Wick. Then, Man on Fire, then the filmed stage version of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
John Wick was okay but is the least interesting of the three. There are almost no females significant to the plot but the requisite dead one. For contrast I suppose, they added one as a shooter but she’s not particularly interesting. There’s no surprise in “woman as assassin”. John Wick’s world is a world of men, manners, and violence. And all they need to kick it off, is the whisper of a reason.
I am a Denzel Washington fan and except for John Q, Training Day, and maybe one or two others, I almost never hesitate to watch his movies over and over again. The Bone Collector is one, Out of Time is another, Man on Fire makes the re-watch list.
He starts the movie broken. finds that he is still capable of something other than violence and murder. Returns to it beautifully, poetically, when his reason for hope is taken from him.
With John Wick, from the very beginning we’re told he’s a master at violence. To my mind there’s no reason to believe otherwise. The rest of the movie is pretty much just a demo of what we’ve been told is true. Why wouldn’t it be true? We haven’t been told any reason it shouldn’t. The movie follows in the only way it can.
With Creasy, we haven’t been told anything about him. We’re shown that he needs a job, he’s a drunk, he’s capable of providing security, and he’s on the suicidal side. We learn something about him when he begins to train Peta. We learn something about him when he recovers from the abduction. Who he could have been is revealed when he learns she could be alive, He is able to rest in the end.
As for Sweeney Todd: first I love Stephen Sondheim. I love his lyrics, his songs. They just make me happy. This staged version is good enough filmed theatre.
There’s only one reason for all three of these movies. some man’s loss of the love of a woman.