Sunday, November 23, 2014

John Wick

I saw the movie John Wick yesterday. I'm working on what I hope is the last round of edits for the book and I wanted to see an action movie that would give me visceral aggressive feelings and fear and help take my mind off of how poorly written I still find my work.

It's a great example of the proto-phallic subject egoist. Phallic symbols in hot cars, guns, etc. abound and in his job as a hitman it is clear that he has a high ego ideal to be the best at his work.

There have been many movies like this in the last 7 years or so. A former CIA agent, hitman, or super tough and intelligent individual who worked secretly in the anal level of Being to impact world events gives it up to have a normal life. However, something happens to his wife, daughter, or something to disturb that life and he's drawn back into having to kill again.

In John Wick the titular's character's wife dies and she ends up sending him a dog to help him learn to love again. The beginning is comprised of mundane scenes of him living with his dog and getting attached. However, one day some Russian mobsters admire his car and decide to break into his house beat him, kill the dog, and steal the car. This is enough to send John Wick back into assassin mode and seek to kill the mobsters (one of which happens to be the son of the top mob boss who he used to work for).

This seems to be an example of a loss of love at the phallic level for the subject egoist being defended against and leading to a regression to the anal level.

There is an interesting symptom reading involving a female assassin. When Wick goes to the big city to hunt down the mob boss' son he stays a hotel for assassins in which their is a rule that no killing can take place (it's a "safe zone"). The female assassin chooses not to follow the rule and attacks him. He fends her off and lets her go for some information. She escapes but returns later and appears as if she is going to kill him again. She is mysteriously called away before any engagement and is then killed herself for breaking the rules of the hotel by a group of assassins (seemingly under the direction of the owner of the hotel).

This reading seems to indicate that Wick killing the bosses' son transgresses his anal conscience. I would have to study the script more to be confident in the reading but I think what is suggested is that Wick lost something he loved and so now he wants the mob boss to lose something he loves and that this is more prominent in his motivation than some sense of justice. To take the loved or precious thing from the father would imply expected retribution that would turn into a need for punishment in the individual (a substitutive milder punishment rather than constant anxiety regarding the father coming for you). Thus, even though Wick survives in the end and gets another dog there is a moment in which he appears to die from wounds in the fight with the mob boss. In this reading, this is what his need for punishment demands. He could have killed the mob boss with a gun but throws it away to fight "like men" with him. This mirrors how the female assassin seemed posed to get the drop on Wick before she is called away to her death.

There is definitely a more involved reading possible but I have enough work for now.    

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