Welcome to the Continental
John Wick Chapter 2 starts out exactly like an awesome action-movie sequel should – right where it left off. All of the audience’s lingering questions are answered and we are treated to an awesome fire-fight before we’ve touched our popcorn. (Who am I kidding? That’s gone before the movie even starts!) But there-in lies a little bit of a problem with this movie. All the loose ends are tied up, so what else is there for John to do? This is when the story relies on this previously unmentioned information about the marker, and it does work. However, it doesn’t have the same power as the original. Force-ably repaying a debt isn’t as bad ass as hunting down the bastards who wronged you.
What’s really interesting about John Wick Chapter 2 is the look inside the ‘underworld’ – or how being a hit man works. The movie takes us through an assignment from beginning to end, and it’s cool to see that lore unfold. We get to see an international Continental and how quickly information goes through the wire. Also, the action scenes are amazing. I mean, that’s the most important part to a flick like this. It does not disappoint! Some action sequences are actually pretty comical. It’s great that this film knows what it is and doesn’t take itself to seriously. It also movies very fast. You’ll wonder where the time went.
My main issue with the flick, besides the weaker motivation, is the weak villains. While Santino D’Antonio is a slimy bastard, his henchman Ares is pretty unremarkable. At some point, John Wick has to go up against a bunch of faceless enemies, and there-in lies the intensity. He never knows who will be coming after him. Regardless, while there are the ‘main’ villains, none of them are really up to par.
Take The Blue Pill
Keanu Reeves is awesome as John Wick, as usual. But nothing is as incredible as seeing Neo and Morpheus together again, even for a moment. Common plays a typical bodyguard, and Ruby Rose tries to be intimidating as D’Antonio’s henchman, but neither is as imposing as they should be. They are fine, but not particularly noteworthy. Riccardo Scamarcio pulls of that coward with a lot of power character well-enough, but everyone is just overshadowed by the gun fire of Keanu Reeves. In fact, the only actors that really stood out were Lance Reddick and John Leguizamo. But then again, we really just want to see John Wick kick ass.
John Wick Chapter 2: Final Thoughts
Though not as awesome as the first, John Wick Chapter 2 is a pretty good sequel. It’s an adrenaline rush from start to finish, and everything moves so quickly its 2 hour run time seems like ten minutes. The plot isn’t as strong, but the action scenes make up for any failing the script may have. This chapter gives a glimpse of the underground and sets up the next chapter of John’s tragic story. Given all the hype, I’m definitely excited to see the next one.