Friday, February 10, 2017

John Wick Chapter 2 review

I came on to the John Wick appreciation rather late. I never saw it in theatres and, in fact, until a few months ago hadn't seen it at all until I found myself bored on Xbox One one night and rented it. I'm sure many of you will nod in agreement when I say it was a great movie. Loved it. Had to see the next one. Well, last night I did. Let me assure you that you will find the same high-octane tactical action that we see in the first movie. It's a credit not only to the director Chad Stahelski but to Keanu Reeves who does the lion's share of his own stunts. The dude is driven to make the film as grounded as possible. By now we have all seen this YouTube video of him training:

Anyhoo, the action is top notch. So much goes into how the action is presented that I am breaking my normal mega-ban on reboots by saying that the new Highlander films under Stahelski will likely be an improvement on the original. Ok, maybe not the soundtrack because nobody beats Queen.

I won't give any spoilers in my synopsis.

The movie begins with John Wick tracking down his stolen car from the first film. In the middle of the ensuing carnage some exposition is given about how dangerous Wick is to catch everyone up to speed from the first one and get the audience on board for what's about to happen in Chapter 2. After the car problem is resolved, a man from Wick's past appears at John's house to cash in a marker from his old assassin life. Though Wick considers himself retired, he is reminded that one cannot 'be out' and return without consequences. Wick continues to refuse despite his previous oath to make good on the marker, the man leaves and as you may guess things go south from there. The rest you will have to see but the film definitely delivers on presenting the strange, stylistic life of assassins the first John Wick film exposed us to. What's even better is we get more but have no further explanation. That world simply is as it is. No explanation required, which is such a smart way to deal with the mythos that the movie is creating in my opinion.

There were a couple of times towards the end of the film where I wondered if the people in this world were simply oblivious to the violence around them, like wolves fighting each other amidst a herd of sheep, or they just didn't care. That, and this will make sense after you see the movie, just how many people in this world of John Wick are assassins?! Again, not going to give spoilers, but about mid way through it begins to feel like every 3 in 4 people are assassins. Keep in mind that neither of these musings are complaints in any fashion. They were just a few musings I had.

*kinda spoilers ahead*

The way the film ends is at such a fast pace that you aren't ready for it to end. It stops just as the story is getting ramping back up into high gear as John has to deal with the consequences of actions taken in the movie. Obviously, there will be a chapter 3 but I was left with such a need to see what happened next that the only disappointment the movie gave me was that I would have to wait for resolutions on what happened during chapter 2. I think that's a good thing to have.

*end of spoilers*

All said and done, I loved John Wick Chapter 2. It gave me everything I wanted and had no let downs what so ever. Go see it! If you have, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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