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John Wick - 5Star

(Image credit: David Lee)

Widowed ex-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) goes on a murderous spree after his dog is killed

Widowed ex-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) goes on a murderous spree after his dog is killed.

Just when you thought it impossible to endure yet another action thriller in which an improbably indestructible lone avenger cuts a swathe through scores of thugs, goons, hoods and other disposable bad guys, Reeves saves the day.

The set-up may be preposterous as Reeves seeks out the Russian Mafia boss's slimy son (Alfie Allen) responsible for the demise of his beloved canine (a present from his late wife).

However, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski tackles the absurdity with gusto, conjuring up a hyper-stylised world and shooting the fight scenes with clarity and grace that puts most other action movies to shame.

Co-stars Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane and Adrianne Palicki deliver droll supporting turns, but this is very much Keanu's show. Pulling off his improbable feats with drop-dead cool, he also invests his grief-stricken character with sly humour and surprising emotional depth.

Great fun.