Instant Cult Classics: Nightcrawler + John Wick

February 12, 2015 | By

Nightcrawler2014The governing positives of the suspense / action films Nightcrawler (Elevation Pictures) and John Wick (eOne / Summit) reside in the performances of leads Jake Gyllenhaal and Keanu Reeves, respectively, and their characters of lone men who choose to live on the fringes instead of actively partaking in banal, safe events within their their suburban worlds.

Nightcrawler’s Lou Bloom is fully antisocial, but he excels in using his camera to capture human suffering, giving him both a rush and a raison d’etre, whereas John Wick tried to move from the dark fringes of the crime world, but after being slammed with the brutal loss of his ailing wife, the puppy bequeathed to him, and a classic sports car, he regains (reluctantly) a purpose by revisiting old hangouts, and arguably thriving off the thrill of the chase, the kill, and revenge.

JohnWickBoth men aren’t doomed to flame out, but there’s a strong sense their chosen paths – exploitation and revenge – can’t keep them in one zone, because they’re creatures who thrive in extreme moments of stress. Bloom can only become a greater monster, using a crew to orchestrate more human misery until he inevitably becomes the subject of another cameraman and makes the news headlines himself; and Wick may attempt normalcy a second time, but he’s a known talent who can be lured to a new assignment.

And for Wick, his employers get a double bonus: if he fails trying to realize an impossible task, he’ll at best slaughter enough soldiers so his replacement has more wiggle room; and if he survives, to coin the intro narration for an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, he’ll become tougher, angrier, and deadlier.

Coming next: the last wrap-up of vinyl documentaries, followed by soundtrack reviews, another cluster of film reviews, and what it feels like to have a tooth ripped out of one’s head.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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