Keanu Reeves Action Sequel Hits it’s Mark
Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
Starring Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Common
Released February 10th, 2017
First things first, John Wick has to retrieve his stolen car. Wick is beaten and bloodied after the events of the first film, and all he wants to do is return to the peace and quiet of his home and his new adopted dog. But first, his car.
Many dead bodies later, Wick is at home with his dog and car, having finally put his past behind him. Wick (Keanu Reeves) was a hitman long ago and try as he might he cannot seem to retire from the life. Something or someone keeps bringing him back into the world of bullets. This time it’s Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), to whom Wick owes a favor. That favor is killing someone of Santino’s choice.
When you put together a list of great movie sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 will be on that list.
Wick is reluctant, but convinced to follow through by Winston (Ian McShane), who seems to be in charge of all things assassin. Winston is the owner of the New York Continental Hotel, upon which grounds no “business” is to be conducted. There are similar hotels all around the world for assassins to relax, recharge their batteries, and reload their guns.
Payment in this universe comes in the form of gold coins, the exact value not revealed to the audience. The John Wick movies are not only fun because of their over-the-top violence, it’s this complicated hitman mythology they’ve added that intrigues and entertains.
Keanu Reeves has done something spectacular with this role, infusing it with a lived-in quality that is totally believable. As Santino’s mute assassin Ares, Ruby Rose is magnetic, a screen presence to be reckoned with. The same can be said for Common, who plays Cassian, a character that is sure to become a fan favorite.
Laurence Fishburne shows up for a few scenes as a crazy pigeon man, clearly having fun reuniting with his Matrix chum. Is it too much to ask for a cameo in Chapter 3 from Carrie-Anne Moss?
There are two things a sequel to John Wick had to do in order to be successful: expand on the mythology and be downright brutal with the fight scenes. I’m happy to report that John Wick: Chapter 2 does both of these things beautifully.
Much like the first film, the action set pieces are next level. It’s a film you want to watch again as soon as it’s finished. When you put together a list of great movie sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 will be on that list. It’s a series that has managed to turn ultra violence into high art.