In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hitman John Wick [Keanu Reeves] is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.
What We Thought:
John Wick: Chapter 2 is a solid follow-up to the surprisingly awesome John Wick. I really enjoyed the first movie. It seemed to come out of nowhere and was one of the better American action movies in decades. I didn’t really have any expectations going into the first film compared to this sequel. I think that’s the major difference.
Don’t get me wrong, Chapter 2 is pretty awesome, but I had extremely high expectations for it. It’s like when I saw The Raid 2. I loved The Raid: Redemption and was pumped for its sequel so my expectations were through the roof. Very similar here, I was pumped to see this sequel. Very few films can meet expectations, but this did come pretty damn close.
The body count is higher. The action seems more over the top. Keanu Reeves seemed to train his balls off for this one. There’s some great martial arts in the movie along with gun fights and action. I think that’s why I like this franchise a lot, it reminds me of Asian action movies. Asian action films have a lot of hand to hand combat, not just Michael Bay explosions. Reeves and Common do a lot of jiu jitsu take downs and holds. I was actually really impressed with Common. He’s come a long way.
The first film ends with automotive action and this one begins with it. They wreck some great muscle cars, but man is it fun to watch. It seems more realistic, like a throwback to Bullitt or The French Connection. I like the Fast & the Furious franchise a lot, but that’s fake action. This series seems like people actually got hurt while making the movie and I like that.
Some people might complain that the plot to this is identical to the original film. I say to them, I don’t care. Going into the screening I told people I just want to see headshots (and no not the photograph kind) and bones being broken. That’s what I got. There’s a couple of slower scenes to push the film forward, but there’s plenty of action with guns, shotguns, pencils and cars.
If I have one issue with the movie it’s Ruby Rose. I don’t really see why she was in this. I’ve yet to see her in anything that made me think she’s a good actress and this is the same. She uses sign language and tries to kick ass, but come on, in real life are you taking Ruby Rose over Keanu Reeves? No. She stands around with her pouty expression and tattoos and we’re supposed to think she’s tough? Adrianne Palicki in the first film, I can believe that. She looks tough and has been in projects like GI Joe and Agents of SHIELD. Rose just comes across as a model turned actress to me. Good for her for getting work and collecting a paycheck I guess.
If you liked John Wick, go out this weekend and see John Wick: Chapter 2. If you haven’t seen the first film, go buy it now. Then go see this. This is probably my favorite American action franchise since the 1980’s and I’m looking forward to the third one. Oh yeah, there’s definitely a third one coming and Keanu will kill them all!
Cast & Crew:
- Keanu Reeves
- Laurence Fishburne
- Riccardo Scamarcio
- Ruby Rose
- Lance Reddick
- Bridget Moynahan
- John Leguizamo
- Ian McShane
Recommended If You Like:
- John Wick
- Badass Action Flicks
- Keanu Reeves