Director Oliver Stone made one of the best war movies ever with Platoon, according to critics, but despite the contents of that film, he has some problems with modern action flicks; he finds John Wick disagreeable in particular.
Platoon being a harrowing story about the Vietnam War that won multiple Oscars on the basis of its no-vanity performances and gritted-teeth ground-level style of filmmaking makes it hard to ignore what its director thinks about modern violence in cinema.
He told Variety “I saw John Wick 4 on the plane. Talk about volume. I think the film is disgusting beyond belief. Disgusting. I don’t know what people are thinking,” he said. “Maybe I was watching ‘G.I. Joe’ when I was a kid. But [Keanu Reeves] kills, what, three, four hundred people in the fucking movie. And as a combat veteran, I gotta tell you, not one of them is believable. I realize it’s a movie, but it’s become a video game more than a movie.”
He expanded, saying “It’s lost touch with reality. The audience perhaps likes the video game. But I get bored by it. How many cars can crash? How many stunts can you do? What’s the difference between Fast and Furious and some other film? It’s just one thing after another. Whether it’s a super-human Marvel character or just a human being like John Wick, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s not believable.”
Gun-Fu has its place, but there is something to be said about excess and how lots of entertainment requires a sort of detachment from the faceless humans on the opposing side of our heroes. Mindless action may be what some of us need after a hard day, but it’s reasonable it may not be for someone who has experienced combat.