Keanu Reeves returns to a role that matches his classic film personality in John Wick: Chapter 2. And like the first one, this film is nothing but a fun, gun-porn kind of vengeance film, with Wick dispensing his classic style of justice, at the end of a gun barrel.
The plot described is “After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.”
Chad Stahelski returns to the director’s chair for the sequel, and his own second directorial effort. (Yep, he cut his directorial teeth on the first Wick film). Aside from Reeves, other cast members include Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne and a slew of other familiar faces.
In this film, which takes place within a week of events in the last film, John is trying to get out of the life of being an assassin. He has the dog he took from the Vet’s in the last film, and yes, it’s the same (kind of) dog, so someone was taking notes!
But John’s retirement is short-lived because a marker he was given some years ago is called in by a guy named Santino. And despite his not wanting to go back to that life, and after threats of taking a hit out on him, John accepts the contract.
But as he takes out the target, the man who called in the marker, then still tried to have John taken out. But of course, trying to take out John Wick is akin to snuffing out the sun. And sooner or later, John corners him to exact revenge, but Santino is hiding out in the holy ground of assassins and instead of heeding advice to not touch him, well, John was too pissed.
And sets the tables against him for the third film.
In this second chapter of the Wick franchise we learn a ton about the world of assassins that Wick exists in. We learn that his (and everyone else’s) suits are actually bullet resistant, that there’s a “call center” for all contracts and hits, and a few other aspects of the world he lives in.
I love that they continued the story of how kick ass Wick is, and that he meets his match in another assassin, Cassian, played by Common. I loved the action. I also loved the assassins tailor and the man who provides guns to the members. I loved his deep, polite and resonating voice!
But there were some distractions in the film that takes some elements of the franchise a little too far.
We learn that there seems to be assassins everywhere, literally. In fact they seem to be in too many places all over the place and that just seemed a bit overboard. Wick was taking a ton of damage during his altercations, repeatedly. Almost too much damage for one mere human.
The fight choreography was a little bit different this time around, but the basics of his using guns as a part of his fisticuffs style stayed intact.
But the ending of the film really had me wondering just how the hell he’s going to deal with his new challenge, if a third film comes around.
But I can’t imagine it won’t.
Did I mind spending money on this movie in the theater? Nope, not at all. It was just as I had expected, John Wick, guns, retribution and nothing but popcorn fun fighting. If you expect anything more, well, you miss the mark about this entertaining franchise.
On my popcorn scale, I’d give this gun-porn film a nice popcorn 8 for sure. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 90% and IMDb, an 8.1 / 10.
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