John Wick: Chapter 2 Review

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By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Once in a while, a film will be made and, more likely than not, the filmmakers are not expecting a huge, global hit. Yet a hit is what they get. Films such as the original Hangover, Bridesmaids, and The Lego Movie all come to mind. Way back in the olden days of 2014, another movie fit this exact niche when it was released and blew up into a hit action film. That movie was John Wick, and it reinvented Keanu Reeves’ career. It was a film created as a solo project, but due to its pronounced success, we now have its much-awaited and much-anticipated sequel. Brought to us once again by director Chad Stahelski, we have John Wick: Chapter Two.

When last we saw John Wick (Keanu Reeves), he had just gotten his revenge on the people who killed his puppy, the last real joy he had from his departed wife. Trying to live a life of retirement, he is now called upon to perform a favor based on a blood oath he had made. Saying no isn’t an option, and Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) throws him into a situation to pay his debt. However, living in this type of world isn’t straightforward, and John soon finds himself with a bounty on his head. He’s able to receive some help from the head of the Continental, Winston (Ian McShane), as well as Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). However, when you have the nickname The Boogeyman and reportedly dine with the devil and come from Hell, how much help do you really need? John may be up against greater numbers this time around, but who would bet against Mr. Wick?

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With a film that wasn’t supposed to have a sequel, this allows a screenwriter and director to further delve into the mythos of the character, as well as the world they live in. Here, we’re able to journey firsthand into the life of the Continental, as well as that of the High Table: a set of international criminals who pretty much run the underground of the world. In this world, there are politics and there are rules, though for some of these rules, there are loopholes, which John finds out first hand can be detrimental to one’s health. Yet Stahelski guides us around the cities of Rome and New York with beautifully choreographed, and viscerally brutal, action sequences. If you thought the body count was high in the first film, this film will feel like mini genocide of baddies. Watching the action unfold, you can’t help but think, “If I was in some real s#$t, I’d want John Wick there with me to have my back!” This is an action film through and through, but because it is just so much fun to watch, you can allow the fact that hundreds shoot at him though he ends up still winning in the end. Even if he has to do it with a pencil!

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Keanu Reeves, as mentioned before, is back at the helm of the title character, and fits into that custom-tailored suit very nicely. He’s not a man of many words, though he gets his point across. This was a role that Reeves was built for, and he’s very successful as the title character. Riccardo Scamarcio just oozes sleaziness from his first request of Wick, and you kind of want him to have an exceedingly painful end (maybe not on the Joffrey/Ramsay Bolton line, but close). Ian McShane is always enjoyable and plays his role as the head of the Continental to form. Fishburne has more of a cameo role, but adds a little flavor. And Common is back as the international body guard/assassin, Cassian, with him and John having a couple of entertaining fisticuffs!

I’d love to say everyone should go watch John Wick: Chapter Two, but I’m sure some of you are not into overly violent films, even if the violence may be justified. Still, for those of you who just enjoy a good film, an adventure, great action, and choreography, then this is perfect. John Wick: Chapter Two could have been a closure film to the series; nevertheless, the stage has been set for an absolutely epic final film. Watching this, you’d think, “Can this get any better?” But, in the last five minutes of the film, you realize, “Oh dear baby Jesus, it absolutely WILL!” Some minor plot points aside, and allowing us to give liberty to John not being killed like 87123568 million times, this film is an absolute joy and should be watched ASAP, before the Boogeyman comes for you!

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


    One Comment

  1. Carrie MulliganMay 4th, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I love Keanu Reeves, but this was utterly dull. Don’t watch it! The the Equalizer was good fun and pretty much exactly what this movie was trying to do. The other option is Taken, though not the other two!

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