The Machinist / John Wick

First up this evening, we have a fairly well-received ‘thriller’ that strengthened Christian Bale’s CV ahead of selection for the starring role in the Dark Knight Trilogy.

The Machinist

But in a world away from Gotham, he portrays the main man, Trevor Reznick [no, not Trent Reznor], in The Machinist. It’s a film I’d heard of and had been eager to see for a while. I even made the mistake of confusing it with a different-but-similar title, starring Jason-bloody-Statham… Fortunately, that one was swiftly removed from my Rental List as I realised my error!

Early on, we get a clear indication that Reznick is not a well man. From his horrifying and skeletal appearance, he looks significantly less of the Bruce Wayne that Bale would eventually become, a year or so later. You have to question the long-term effects of such ‘body morphing’ on an actor’s health, both physically and mentally… Within the realms of the film though, we also learn that Reznick has been suffering from insomnia for a considerable amount of time. While his obsession with using bleach to clean his hands perhaps raises other psychological concerns.

I’m not going to spoil anything more for you, even though I did find the outcome to be predictable. The Machinist has that quality that made several late-1990s a firm favourite for many (neither shall I name them, for the risk of giving too much away).

What has caused Trevor’s insomnia?

That’s a question that is answered towards the end of the film and, quite like Memento that preceded this; it begins with the main man committing a murder, while the remainder of the film picks up the story from behind time and, piece by piece, it eventually comes together. It’s an experience where you can join Trevor Reznick in questioning, what is real, who can be trusted and what’s really going on?… But he is definitely a machinist in his daily work.

On a slightly different note, I also received John Wick.

This is one I’d intended to see at the cinema over a year ago but it seemed to leave the big screen soon after it had arrived.

Keanu Reeves plays Wick, a man, who we learn, is struggling to grieve for the recent loss of his wife. As the funeral comes and goes, a new ‘lease of love’ arrives, quite literally, on his doorstep… Tragically, this is not intended to last either and it’s this series of events that spurs the former contract killer (nicknamed ‘The Boogeyman’) out of retirement.

Yes, he’s going to need guns… Lots of guns… On his quest to seek vengeance upon those responsible.

When I first heard of this film, I didn’t have the greatest of expectations; expecting it would merely be another attempt to ‘free Neo from The Matrix’… But while John Wick is action-packed, I thought the choreography was outstanding.

It almost has the feel of Sin City or 300 (both directed by Zack Snyder, of course) and yet, for it’s entertainment value, it remains largely grounded. We witness some almost-unbelievable moves at times but there’s nothing to defy gravity and there are no ‘video game mechanics’. I was very impressed with the whole film.

Bizarre fact: This film is produced, in part, by Eva Longoria.

What’s more, I’ve read that a sequel is on its way for the tail-end of this year.

Thanks for reading.

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