JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (R)
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane
Director: Chad Stahelski
Producers: Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Story & Screenplay: Chad Stahelski
Based on: Characters by Chad Stahelski
Cinematography: Dan Laustsen
Music: Tyler Bates, Joel J. Richard
Editing: Evan Schiff
Budget: $40 million
Running time: 122 minutes
Technical Aspects: 4
Spoiler: You won’t leave disappointed, to say the least!
Script, Screenplay & Direction
In this sequel, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. As you fans of the first film would know that there’s a mythology, a secret underworld created for this and so the sequel reveals the wide reach of its extent. It goes global. Reeves is bound by a marker, a debt he made in the past, so he travels to Rome to pay it but in doing so squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.
The John Wick movies accomplish what Hong Kong action flicks did a quarter-century ago, seducing bloodthirsty (predominately male) audiences into appreciating an exquisitely choreographed modern ballet. If you doubt that Director Chad Stahelski sees his own job in these terms, look no further than in how brilliantly he sets up each scene.
The first hour of “John Wick 2” has its peaks and valleys, but the second hour is a relentless, adrenalized mad dash.
The one negative that must be mentioned is that John Wick lacked the motivation he had in the first movie. In this one, he’s just pulled back into this world and the motivation is little weak and he is forced into action rather losing the organic flow of the first film.Also, there is a bit of a more narrative complexity in the sequel as opposed to the simplicity of the original movie but it works by adding details to John Wick’s world and setting up for possible sequels
One thing I particularly liked about this movie was the sense that the rest of the world didn’t exist. Where other movies get bogged down trying to explain how action heroes manage to exist within the rest of society and avoid the law, John Wick simply ignores the rest of society. It embraces its purpose and excludes any elements that don’t serve the goal of creating really gnarly action sequences. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is, and I appreciate that.
Once again, Reeves proves that he is a force to be reckoned with in this roller-coaster sequel that is every bit as fun as the original.
As Cassian, a fellow assassin (and a protector of Gianna), Common brings a steely calm to his role and turns in his best-yet screen performance. Ruby Rose also stands out as Ares, a mute killer who communicates in sign language, and Ian McShane is exquisite in his reprisal of the role of Winston, who runs the killers-only Continental hotel.
Over-the-top Laurence Fishburne (as a pigeon-cradling crime boss) strikes the wrong tone, and he seems to be there more for a marquee “Matrix” reunion than for story mechanics.
Action and Cinematography
There’s everything one loved from the first, now pouring abundantly. Combat is arguably the best action choreography one could possibly ask for. Punches, kicks, submission holds, and even dirty pokes are delivered with sheer primal vexation and the finesse of ballet performance.Its everything you expect to watch and even more than the 1st film only the fact that it takes a tad too long before the action really takes off.But it’s totally worth the patience.
The action sequences are better, choreographed so well that it felt authentic. The killings are logical, even though at some points the bad guys became generic henchmen who can’t shoot straight. But the world created for this sequel is fascinating in every way, making it impossible not to like the things that happened throughout the movie.
Music & other Technical Aspects
Aside from the amazing action, the sound effects of this movie were realistic albeit loud at times including the sound of cars screeching, guns blazing and the voices of John and Cassian’s heavy fight which was very original.The soundtrack on this movie is perfection. It’s eerie, awesome and very similar to the first movie. It’s just extremely well made. It helps set the mood and the atmosphere, which honestly isn’t that dark.
These types of films are rarely known for their artistic value but John Wick: Chapter 2 sets the bar pretty high, not only in its action but in it’s set design and camera work. This is pure escapist entertainment and couldn’t have come at a better time. Those wanting to take a break from watching the Oscar nominees, this film is exactly what you’re looking for.
The Boogeyman is back! An unmissable rare sequel that delivers upon its hype.If you appreciate action films it will be a crime to skip this one.
Meanwhile, enjoy one of the best-choreographed action scenes ever from John Wick:
and here’s a sneak peak on what to expect from the sequel.