John Wick was the surprise action film of 2014 and his return has been highly anticipated by fans of the film. John Wick: Chapter 2 was likely to disappoint. However, writer Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski have succeeded in continuing to build the world and the first amazing action character since John McClain first said “Yippee Ki Yay.” The sequel brings more action, better story, and reminds us why you don’t want to cross John Wick.
John Wick: Chapter 2 rocks!
The movie starts off continuing one of the issues people had when they heard about the plot of the first film. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is killing former employers because the son of a crime boss stole his car and killed his puppy. On the surface it does sound silly, but it was what the puppy represented that makes it much more understandable. In Chapter 2, Wick is on the hunt for his car that is still in possession of the brother of Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist). Wick offers a peace treaty, which is taken and he leaves his wake of mayhem behind and seeks to retire again.
However, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) pulls him back in because of a mark Wick owes him. D’Antonio apparently helped him get out the first time and now needs him to kill his sister, Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini). Wick is in a position where he has to follow the rule or risk punishment. Against his better judgement, Wick heads to Rome. This trip allows us to see a foreign version of the Continental Hotel plus some cool other perks the assassins seem to have access to. There are some scenes that are a little too cute, like Wick buying guns from the Sommelier (Peter Serafinowicz). However, it’s more of the awesome world that was introduced in the first film.
How do they keep it fresh?
The best part, this is really where the story begins. After Wick confronts Gianna, the story takes a turn and really picks up. It’s an action masterpiece that actually allows the audience to watch the amazing stunts rather than rapid cuts and close-ups to hide the change of cast. Reeves has demonstrated his marksmanship and his martial arts prowess in many training videos and seeing him do it is sheer joy. Wick is an epic action character set in a world that is truly intriguing.
The various chase sequences and stunt driving is impressive. The film opens with a chase with Wick in a Camaro pursuing a dude on a motorcycle. It’s probably the most rapid editing that occurs in the film, but it sets the action tone perfectly. Later in the film, there will be a series of fight scenes that are crosscut together that allow us to see multiple times that Wick has to take out assailants. Each one offers a different obstacle for Wick to overcome, and the cutting allows the audience to see exactly how dangerous this man can be.
If you’re looking for an action movie that is visceral, compelling, and absolutely brutal then John Wick is where you should be. It’s exactly what has been missing from the action genre for some time. Reeves is still kicking butt at age 52 and hopefully it will continue. John Wick: Chapter 2 gets the Must See rating.