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The four months Keanu Reeves spent learning martial arts pays off handsomely in "John Wick," which features brutal fights that don't rely on camera tricks or fancy editing.

Keanu Reeves disappointed some film fans with his combative roles in 47 Ronin (2013) and Man of Tai Chi (2013), in part because he looked out of place and miscast. That's especially ironic when you consider that Reeves directed — and cast himself in — Man of Tai Chi. But like an old Jaws 2 trailer, Reeves is back, and this time it’s personal. His latest neo-hero actioner is titled John Wick. In it, Reeves returns to the mentality that transformed him into a martial arts hero with his “Neo” performance in The Matrix (1999). In John Wick, however, everything is personal, and that’s what makes the film and the fights work.

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