John Wick appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Despite some inconsistencies, this usually came across as a positive presentation.
Sharpness became the main point of contention, as the image could occasionally seem oddly soft. While most of the movie looked well-defined, a few puzzling instances of slightly blurry material emerged.
I suspect these stemmed from photographic choices, but they never seemed especially logical, so I felt less sure about that. In any case, the movie largely seemed well-defined.
I witnessed no instances or moiré effects or jaggies, and the film lacked edge haloes. Print flaws never materialized.
Although I won’t call Wick the most teal-heavy film I’ve ever seen, it resides high on that list, as the palette leaned very heavily in that domain. Some straight green, red and amber appeared as well, but expect oppressive levels of teal. These tones looked ridiculous at times, but I felt the disc reproduced them as depicted – God help us all.
Blacks could seem a little inky, but they usually showed good delineation, and shadows offered reasonable clarity. Most of the film seemed pretty appealing, but it never became a great image.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack boasted the expected violent impact. The mix used music as an active participant and also kicked into higher gear during its many action sequences.
Those came across with a lot of involvement. Gunfire, various vehicles and other violent elements filled the channels. They showed strong localization and blended smoothly, with material that veered from one channel to another in a natural manner.
Audio quality excelled as well, with music that appeared vivid and full. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, and the lines lacked edginess or other issues.
Of course, effects stood out the most, and those elements demonstrated fine reproduction. They showed good accuracy and range, with tight, bold low-end when necessary. I felt satisfied with this above-average soundtrack.
The Blu-ray comes with a good array of extras, and we start with an audio commentary from director Chad Stahelski and producer/uncredited co-director David Leitch. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at stunts and action, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, cinematography and visual design, music, effects and related topics.
For the most part, this becomes a good chat. Leitch and Stahelski narrate the movie a little more than I’d like, but they usually make this a fairly effective discussion of the production.
Six featurettes follow, and we open with Don’t F*#% With John Wick. In this 15-minute, 17-second reel, we hear from Stahelski, Leitch, producer Basil Iwanyk, stunt coordinator Darrin Prescott, fight choreographer John Eusebio, utility stunts John Valera, writer Derek Kolstad, stunt doubles Renae Moneymaker and Jackson Spidell, and actors Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, Dean Winters, and Michael Nyqvist.
“Don’t” looks at the movie’s stunts, action and fight scenes. A little too much of the show leans toward praise, but we still get a nice array of insights along with fun rehearsal footage.
With Calling in the Cavalry, we get an 11-minute, 58-second program that includes notes from Stahelski, Reeves, Prescott, Leitch, Palicki, Dafoe, Kolstad, Nyqvist, and actor John Leguizamo.
“Cavalry” covers the work of the directors as well as supporting cast. Like “Don’t”, it mixes praise and useful material.
Destiny of a Collective goes for six minutes, 19 seconds and involves Stahelski, Leitch, Prescott. Reeves, Dafoe, Palicki, Leguizamo, Nyqvist, and actors Toby Moore, Randall Duk Kim, Omer Bernea and Bridget Regan.
We get a view of the Leitch/Stahelski partnership. Expect more happy talk than I’d prefer, mitigated by a few decent notes.
Next comes The Assassin’s Code, a five-minute, 18-second featurette with Stahelski, Nyqvist, Reeves, Regan, Palicki, Leitch, production designer Dan Leigh and actor Lance Reddick. “Code” covers the movie’s hotel location and does so in a competent manner.
Via The Red Circle, we locate a six-minute, 26-second reel that brings info from Leitch, Reeves, Bernea, Prescott, Spidell, and actor Daniel Bernhardt. Here we get some material related to the nightclub scene, and it becomes another moderately informative reel.
Finally, NYC Noir fills six minutes with remarks from Stahelski, Leitch, Leigh, Kolstad, Reeves, Winters, Leguizamo, Palicki and Iwanyk. “Noir” discusses sets and locations. It becomes one of the better featurettes.
The disc opens with ads for The Divergent Series: Insurgent, The Expendables, Revenge of the Green Dragons, Mortdecai and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. We also get the trailer for Wick.
Packed with action, John Wick could use a bit more story and character depth. Still, the violent set pieces work well enough to turn it into a largely exciting experience. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture as well as impressive audio and a reasonable set of supplements. Wick launches the franchise on a solid note.