Friday, June 23, 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Buy John Wick Chapter 2 on Amazon Video
Written by:  Derek Kolstad, Derek Kolstad (based on characters created by)
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring:  Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynahan
Rated: R

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.

I didn't think this could top the first John Wick, but this sequel does so many thing quite well. Possibly best of all, it expands on the underground lore of the world which is at the center of the plot. The cinematography is still great as are the fights, and this provides a better final scene, which was one of the few disappointments from the first. You could easily argue this is better than the first, though I'm not sure I would, and the first is excellent (read my review).
Watch it.

John Wick, the person and the movie is just cool, from his style to his car. Barely a frame passes that the movie doesn't embody the same cool factor. Keanu Reeves does a great job playing the emotionally detached assassin. The first movie set a new standard for action/revenge movies, and the sequel delves deeper into the underworld, something the first movie mentions, but never explains. What set the original apart was the cinematography, fight choreography, and the assassin underworld lore, and we get more of all.

This movie takes place a few days after the first movie. Wick completes his revenge from the first movie by recovering his Mustang and then is presented with a marker from crime lord D'Antonio. Apparently his impossible task that allowed him to exit the world before the first movie occurred required help. In the assassin underworld, a marker is an unbreakable oath. D'Antonio wants to collect on that oath, and if Wick refuses he violates one of the two unbreakable assassin rules. Markers must be honored and no fighting on hotel grounds. These rules are crucial throughout the film. If broken, you're cast out. You'll be offered no transport, housing, or access to weapons. All items that are crucial when there's a bounty on your head.

After Wick completes the marker, his target's top bodyguard Cassian (Common) pursues Wick and their fight spills into the assassin hotel. Honoring the rule of no business on hotel grounds, Wick and Cassian get up from the floor and have a drink as they grimly discuss how they will kill each other.

Explosions, betrayals, and lots of beautiful fighting later, John is on the run. There's a bounty on his head, and it's a great moment when the order is put out as many phones simultaneously start ringing. All kinds of people hiding in plain sight are assassins. That world is huge.

This might be gorier than the first as is ascribes to a popular rule for sequels - more. The stakes are higher and more bodies cross the screen. It's open season on John Wick and everyone is out to get him. We finally see what he can do with a pencil, as characters have referenced that as part of his mythology.
The action just gets better as the movie progresses, but it's the assassin rules that play a part in concluding this movie and almost certainly predicting a third John Wick movie. A third film is in the works, though a script has yet to be finished.

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