John Wick: Chapter 2 review
In 2014, a Keanu Reeves revenge thriller John Wick became a surprise hit. I originally skipped out on the film as I felt that the trailers only showed an assassin story that I felt I’ve seen before. As far as I’m concerned, I made a big mistake. Before seeing the sequel, I felt it was important to watch the first one. I rented it on Amazon Prime and I was shock by what I saw; a dark, stylish, and fun action movie that is doing it’s own thing. Though I’ve seen plenty stories about revenge (The Count of Monte Cristo and Moby Dick being the prime examples), I can’t recall one over someone’s pet being murdered.
I’ve always liked Keanu Reeves as an actor whether he’s a metelhead from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a SWAT officer in Speed, or “a chosen one” from The Matrix franchise. He has a more reserved, yet intriguing way of adapting that to his characters. Under a good direction, this can create a strong character. This has worked for John Wick, which reminds me of an older James Bond-type if the movie was more of a noir. I was happy to sit and watch John Wick: Chapter 2.
After a great opening where he finishes his mission from the first movie to collect his stolen car, John Wick (played by Keanu Reeves) returns home with his new dog to try and find peace with his retirement and death of his wife from before. Like a lot of typical spy movies, John gets visited by Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (played by Riccardo Scamarcio)who asks him to come out of retirement. Santino askes to have his sister assassinated so that her brother can have her seat at a table of mafia heads. When John refuses despite making a blood oath years ago, Santino has the assassins home destroyed.
John accepts the job knowing that saying no would only put his life in danger. In Rome, he finds the sister Gianna at a party, but she commits suicide rather then allowing an assassin to get her. On his way out, John finds himself double-crossed by Santino who has sent some of his weaponed goons lead by the mute Ares (played by Ruby Rose). Though John escapes and makes it back to New York, Santino has put out a seven million dollar contract on our hero to cover all the tracks.
John Wick: Chapter 2 manages to pull off a really good sequel. Not only does it expand the John Wick universe more, but the stakes feel bigger and the villains seem more threatening. Now that I have seen the first movie, I can see how tough it would be to follow up on a pretty good action movie. Unlike the Taken sequels which simply repeated the formula over and over again, John Wick: Chapter 2 still feels fresh thanks to it’s plot which honestly kept me guessing on how things were going to move forward.
Do I think it’s a higher rated movie then before? No, simply because if it does have any faults, it’s that it feels a bit long. Not the segment in Rome, but when John returns to New York. It’s quick pace suddenly halts when he visits a friend. Though the scene is okay, I feel like they could have cut it in favor have keeping up with John’s mysterious background.
Keanu Reeves is still the perfect choice as John Wick. You can tell this man wants to be happy, but understand that with his connection to the crime world, is unlikely to happen. This is enough to keep me hyped for another John Wick movie.
I’ll give this four grey pitbulls out of five. If you liked the first movie, you’ll definitely like the sequel. John Wick has plenty of action waiting to burst, so I can only say love your dog and go see this sequel.
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