John Wick Chapter 2
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio and Ian McShane
Running Time: 2hrs 2mins
After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.
There’s a few things you need to know about John Wick Chapter 2.
Firstly, if you didn’t like the first movie, you’ll not like this one because it is, almost literally, the first movie only bigger, faster and more intense.
Secondly, if there is a third movie (and there almost certainly will be), they need to find a new way to make John interesting, as his character is pretty limited and his fighting, while a lot of fun, really pushes your tolerance for wash, rinse repeat (how many times can he hold down one gunman, while shooting another appearing behind him and then shooting the first one in the head before you have to say ‘enough is enough’?).
And thirdly, make it about John’s world even more, because it’s a damned fascinating world.
So, with all that in mind, is this a good movie? Yes, for sure.
Sometimes when you go to the cinema, you have an idea in your head of what you’re getting and this is a perfect example of getting exactly what you expect. And that’s no bad thing for a second outing.
It takes the first movie and puts more money onscreen for more violence, more gunplay, more action, more deaths (the first movie had a tally of 72, I’d say Wick doubles this in one scene set in Rome alone) and more dark laughs… seriously, there’s a few deaths in this movie that while extreme and over the top, will have you laughing in your seat if your familiar with the Wick universe (and the legend about a particular writing instrument).
And speaking of universe, this movie also manages to take a while longer this time out to develop John’s extraordinary world ala The Continental.
It’s a world that I believe I NEED to see more of, it’s smart, funny, sexy and so layered… make no mistake, he may wear a suit and use guns, but this is as much a superhero movie as Thor, Batman or any others you can think of.
Every scene is beautifully shot and gloriously hyper real and there’s a scene near the end that mimics the movie that star Reeves is perhaps most famous for – The Matrix – and leaves you in no doubt that there is nothing even remotely realistic about this world.
And as for the plot? Well, it’s a simple one, really – no longer about the wife he lost and how her gift motivated him to become the one man army he is – I personally felt this tale had a pretty good reason for him to return to the world he claimed he wanted to leave behind but seemingly cannot escape.
The action is fast, intense and violent – his interactions with Common as a rival killer are highlights of this sequel. And thankfully, just delaying the gunplay fatigue that we come some dangerously close to experiencing, this time out the team have Wick using his hands much more than before… one scene even seems to be written for this one reason only. But it still works just fine.
Overall John Wick 2 is a lot of fun and a worthy sequel; the character is still interesting enough and the world around him is a wonderfully sketched out mystery box; so welcome John with open arms and once again enjoy the kinetic world he lives in and hope that, should he return, the folks behind it know enough to make it a bit… different because we do not want this character to become stale.
4 out of 5 Nerds