Review: You might remember John Wick (2014) for the over-the-top gun-fu bravura and feasts of headshots; or, better, for a revenge actioner triggered by a mob son stole a hitman’s ’69 Mustang and killed his dog. Yet, you must agree that, with John Wick, you’ve witnessed taciturn Keanu Reeves makes an instant, original iconic role that bitch-slaps a band of remake/reboot/adaptation goons.
John Wick: Chapter 2 immediately follows up the frenzy in the first film with a high-octane car-nage sequence which pumps up the adrenaline; and, since then, those ballads of bone-crunching and brain-scattering actions never stop. Shortly, an Italian mobster, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), to which John is indebted, pulls the hitman out of retirement with a mission to assassinate Santino’s own Camorra sister, Gianna. Forget the ridiculously exhilarating premise from the first film because what John faces in this second film is the real deal.
If you think the vast bullet-ballet choreography is what makes John Wick shines, think again. There’s more to the action bonanza that makes the universe enticing—it’s the world-building, the myth, and the unseen history of the hitman guild that hit harder than Wick’s clenched fists. John Wick does not give in easily to conventions and ultraviolent nihilism; yet, the film is rich and well-crafted with secrets, which might expand to further developments.
However, if you don’t give a damn about those overly alienating myths, you can go on with the super-stylish action fueled up with fascinating design and vibrant cinematography. It’s still that crowd-pleasing films to satisfy not only action aficionados but also casual viewers with penchant of fatality. One thing for sure is John Wick: Chapter 2 goes bigger than the first film at all aspects—the action set-pieces, the body counts, the destruction, and even, the dog (and, be thankful for there’s no dog is harmed on-screen).
When all the madness starts to give you fatigue, John Wick: Chapter 2 takes some pauses with hilarious takes. For instance, there’s a shift intense moment between John and his ex-colleague; from a mortal combat to a warm courtesy moments at a bar. At some other time, you’ll find some intensity breaks when John exchanges silenced potshots with an enemy on a subway tunnel. Those moments are made alive by Keanu Reeves’ quirky persona as a cold hitman with occasional puns.
In the end, John Wick: Chapter 2 makes a helluva sequel, containing too many good things in a vessel without being overloaded, in another celebration of gun-fu, car-nage, and blood feast. When asked if I want to see more of John Wick? The answer is a big yes.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)