John Wick: Chapter 2, the sequel to the 2014 sleeper hit picks up where the first film ended and keeps on rolling. I came into this film with the hesitation that most people have when it comes to sequels; the worry of will this film be good? Will it just be a recycle of the original? John Wick: Chapter 2 not only proves all those norms about sequels to be false, but it manages to improve upon everything with the original. Keanu Reeves reprises his role as everyone’s favorite retired assassin who just wants to be out of the life he once lead and cope with his personal losses.
The film picks up where the original left off with John Wick trying to put back together the remaining pieces of his life that was shattered after the events of the first film. The movie expands on the lore and myth that is John Wick when he is yet again brought back into the world of assassins when an associate from his past who helped him get out (the impossible task) calls on John Wick to pay his debt that he owes. This sets up the nonstop action to follow. John Wick: Chapter 2 properly expands on the assassin universe without telling too much, and the set pieces rival if not exceed that of the original. The film pays homage to classic John Woo films as well as The Man with the Golden Gun with the mirror fight scene.
One thing that John Wick: Chapter 2 does so well for an action film or any film for that matter is there is no lull moment in all three acts. Usually for most films I find myself checking my phone for what time it is, but that didn’t happen with this film. In fact when the credits began to roll I found myself wanting more, and while I was satisfied by this film I want to see more from this universe as its very interesting how this underground crime and assassin world operates. Also the music of this film perfectly sets the mood of every scene. Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard deserve a lot of curating the music.
The performances in this film are great. I personally think this is Keanu Reeves’s best role to date. Newcomers to the series Ruby Rose and Common were terrific in their roles as minor antagonists to Reeves. Ian McShane and Lance Reddick who returned from the original were terrific in their supporting roles. The cameo from Laurence Fishburne was another highlight as not only was it a joy to see Reeves and Fishburne together for the first time since The Matrix trilogy, but his cameo dove deeper into the myth of John Wick. The only performance I wasn’t so crazy about was Riccardo Scamarcio as the films primary villain. While every other antagonist had some sort of skill set his seemed to be just wealth as opposed to the first film where the main antagonist was at least willing to get his hands dirty. Scarmarcio’s performance was great, but the character seemed to be just a pansy who lives in the world of assassins.
To sum up, all I can say is go see this movie. I highly recommend it. It does what so many sequels fail to do and that is expand upon the universe while keeping true to the original. The performances, music, the stunt work, just everything about this movie is great. Despite my opinion of the villain it’s not enough to impact the score of this film.
- All around performances from the cast
- The music
- The set pieces and action scenes
- Deeper look into the myth of John Wick/ lore of the assassin world
- The Main Villain
- The Fact I have to wait 2-3 years for John Wick 3
John Wick: Chapter 2 Receives a 10/10