John Wick: Chapter 2 Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 sees the return of The Boogeyman himself, John Wick, who has to come out of retirement and take on a mission revolving around his past. That mission takes a bit of a left turn and throws John Wick into the path of a few unhappy and bloodthirsty individuals he must take care of, and let’s just say, John Wick is no push over.

The first John Wick came out back in 2014 and was a surprise hit! However, the box office
had other ideas, so the fact that it got a sequel was a surprise of its own. Now it is here and I have to say that John Wick: Chapter 2 is an absolutely kickass movie. If you like the first John Wick then this movie will be right up your alley as it just builds upon what we got in the first film. This time the story is not as personal and on a much larger scale, as most sequels are, but that also means the action is increased as well which is not a bad thing in the slightest. The action as a whole in this movie is some of the greatest action I have ever seen and at times left me speechless at how crazy some of the set pieces were. Some action sequences went on for a good five minutes and never stepped back to catch a breath and it was awesome to witness.

The great action is definitely a credit to the fantastic direction of Chad Stahelski. He co-directed the first John Wick with David Leitch, and this time returns to do a great solo job on the sequel. This film is littered with signs of his work as a stunt director and performer and really adds to the fantastic action which is presented. Another thing I loved about John Wick: Chapter 2 was how much it built upon the lore and mythology of the universe. Of course in the first movie, we get to see The Continental hotel and it makes its return in Chapter 2 as well, and in a much larger capacity. The whole premise of the assassin and hitman in the John Wick universe is explored in this film and it was extremely interesting to see.

Now let’s talk about John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves. Keanu has never been the greatest actor in the world, nor do I think he is a particularly good one either, but man is he perfect for this role. Everything about his performance as John Wick is amazing, from his facial expressions to horrible and bland line delivery. In any other movie it would be horrible, but in this setting, it works perfectly. Alongside Keanu, we see very small roles by Ian McShane (Winston), Riccardo Scamarcio (Santino D’Antonio), Common (Cassian), and Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King). The only other roles in this movie that interested me was that of Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne. McShane plays Winston, the manager at The Continental and his role in the film is not critical for this movie per say, but the future of the franchise overall. Then we have Laurence Fishburne, giving us that awesome Matrix reunion, who plays an old friend of John Wick’s, Bowery King. His character also adds a lot to the lore of the universe and hopefully can deliver something down the road in future installments.

John Wick, of course, was the main player here, but his opposition was played by Riccardo Scamarcio, who’s villain role did not really impress me at all. His motivations were present and it was clear where he stood, he was just boring and flat to me, but in this particular movie, it didn’t ruin the overall experience for me. Adding to that was the very small role of Ruby Rose (Ares) who, again, was just there to cause some problems but did not impress me at all. Common also played a hitman with some issues with John Wick, but again with him and the other villain characters, they could have been played by anyone else and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Other than that the story on its own is not the most tailored, but fun enough to keep you locked in and engaged every step of the way.

If you like action, epic shootouts, stunning hand to hand combat, or Keanu Reeves, then this is the perfect movie for you to check out. Not only does this movie add to the first story of John Wick, but leaves room for much more to come in the future. This was a great movie and becomes part of what might be one of the greatest action franchises ever.

Rating: 8.5/10

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