John Wick Chapter 2

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One of the biggest surprises of 2014 received its first sequel in John Wick Chapter 2.  There was very little buzz about John Wick from 2014 and Keanu Reeves had not had a big hit for many years, almost becoming a joke.  Those days are now gone because he is spectacular as John Wick.

John Wick cannot stay out of the life.  He tried to retire, but it keeps pulling him back.  And when John Wick is in the life, then people are going to die.

The film is full of amazing action.  The action is also shot extremely well.  There is little to no use of shaky camera and the shots are clean and strong.  There is a creativity with the action that makes the potentially ridiculous action scenes more interesting.  Action fans will certainly love this film.

Yes, there is a danger that John Wick is so indestructible that he comes off as unrelatable and cartoony, and, while there is some of that, the film is able to keep Wick grounded through an understandable reason for his vengeance and the way his body suffers throughout.

One of the best parts of both John Wick movies is the hotel called the Continental.  This setting is one with a rich background that they started to mine for material more here in the sequel.  The idea that this hotel is an assassins’ paradise where “business” does not take place, setting it up as a neutral base, is remarkably fascinating.  There is also more information presented here about this international assassins organization and it gave us glimpses inside the workings of that group and the people who make it work.  These two bits made John Wick all the more intriguing.  Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are members of this cabal and add to the fun.

Keanu Reeves is perfect for the part of John Wick.  Every beat delivered by John Wick fits perfectly with the skill of Reeves.  Sure, this will never be a big award winning type role, but you can tell how comfortable Keanu is as John Wick and that translates into a great performance on the screen.  John Wick does have layers to his character and that is beautifully revealed by Reeves in a manner that does not distract from the main purpose of the movie, which is to murder multitudes of bad guys.

The ending does leave us hanging a bit, but I did not dislike it.  It felt like it was ready to set up for a Chapter 3, which I would be all in favor of.  The Gun-fu action was excellent and Keanu was great for who he was playing.  The supporting cast fit beautifully, tossing a shout out also to Laurence Fishburn’s cameo appearance.  John Wick Chapter 2 is an entertaining time filled with exciting action and violence.  Keep them coming.

4.2 stars

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