Since the announcement broke in early 2015, my anticipation for this movie has been through the roof. An action movie with a fairly simple premise that delivers on providing the audience with non-stop thrilling well-choreographed sequences (without shaking cam or jarring cuts) and introducing us to some of the colorful characters that pay homage to the 90’s action flick that was missing in this age of superheroes. Not only was I extremely impressed by the first movie but I could not wait to dive back into the world of assassins within the hidden organization known as The Continental.
So… I bet you are wondering if it stands up to the hype? You bet your ass it does.
In John Wick: Chapter 2, we return to the life of John who is played by Keanu Reeves briefly after the events the first one. If you thought our protagonist was done after the events of the first one, you would be almost right. He had to clean up some loose ends. Without giving too much away, John is approached a mysterious and important man that offers him a job underneath the pretense that John owes him. And this is where Chapter 2 begins.
One of the most important aspects of this movie that really sets it apart from a lot of other movies that I have seen is the world building and the unique way that construct it. Just in like in the first movie, we are introduced to John Wick who has already been established in their world as one of the worst death dealers on the planet. And while that is intriguing on its own, the Continental and the seemingly secret society that governs not only John but the world of assassins acts as the perfect pillar to ground the movie and keep you interested in the moments where the action isn’t the front and center. For myself, the way this second chapter expands on the rules and foundation of the Continental as well as establishing it as a worldwide organization is almost as fun and exciting as the action itself. The lore of the Continental and the members with how their connected leaves you yearning for more.
Speaking of characters, Cassian (played by Common) and Ares (played by Ruby Rose) were two of the stand out roles. Cassian because of natural chemistry that Keanu and Common had on screen. Even though we were just introduced to the characters, the two of them spoke volumes without their dialogue. Their action sequences seemed more intimate like it wasn’t their first rodeo and up to this point, we hadn’t really seen anyone who wasn’t completely fearful of John. It was a welcomed character. Ares is also an honorable mention. I loved her character and how to used her to further the typography in the first film due to her unique asset. And even though she was silent, she was a true henchman or henchwoman in her case through and through. (Also, it was great to see Lawrence and Keanu back together! Correct me if I am wrong, but they have not been together in a movie since the Matrix. There is a funny story behind Lawrence getting his role as well.)
This movie has action in spades and if you have already seen the first one, expect nothing less than same cranked up. It is truly a sight to see Keanu at 52 still performing his own stunts and actions scenes with being practical. It honestly brings a level of authenticity to the action genre that has ultimately been lost to the digital effects. The way John wields a gun is methodical yet elegant in ultimately is a visceral display of violence. I love the way they give John a certain set of skills that he favors. From the takedowns when guns aren’t available to the way he double taps almost everyone ensuring their death. Though I have heard the complaint that John is far better with a gun and that it is much more exciting to watch his gun play than his hand to hand skills which can seem to drag on longer than what they should, I am here to see you that both are still thrilling to watch. The sounds effects are in your face. Your chest will thump with every pull of the trigger. Nothing short than amazing. They even play on his ability to use everything at his disposal as a weapon, something that they didn’t do in the first one. (to my memory.)
[Bonus: They pay homage to a certain film in this movie that made me smile from ear to ear.
The third act of this movie was brilliant and I’m probably going to watch it again to relive it.]
In closing, John Wick is a well-crafted sequel from a property that virtually camenowhereno where two years ago. Great action sequences and free flowing fights. Good story that not only furthers the mythology of John Wick but the Continental all of the characters that we will get to see in the future. Chapter 2 is totally worth it and I recommend everyone to go out and see it. You won’t be disappointed.
And rumor has it, the third installment is already in the works.
[Thank you for reading my review. Please forgive me for any grammatical errors or typos. I ask that you leave a comment letting me know what you thought of the review. Was it informative? Did it influence your decision to see or skip the movie? These things help me out in crafting better reviews and any help towards that is greatly appreciated. Until the next review, Sayonara!]