The Concept: Turning the often bland Keanu Reeves into a kick-ass action star sounds like a premise that's begging to be turned into a cheesy, uninspired, straight-to-DVD shooter, one that would be buried under a horde of similar movies - most of them starring Bruce Willis and Nicolas Cage.
Reeves has never been a strong lead, so counting on him to make John Wick great - especially after a string of terrible flops like 47 Ronin and The Day The Earth Stood Still - seemed silly.
The Movie: Boasting plenty of amazing action sequences that weren't choppily edited, and a simple, believable revenge plot that made dog lovers everywhere clutch their pets and hold on for dear life, John Wick was engaging from the word go.
Directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski (who previously worked as stunt coordinators), the movie's slick production values and visceral shootout sequences make it one of the best pure action experiences you'll ever see.
Reeves is also great - his lack of charisma works wonders here, where he plays a Terminator-esque killing machine - and his cool performance turned him into a bankable action star, against all the odds.