|New dog, same badassery|
"Whoever comes, I'll kill them. I'll kill them all."With most sequels, I'm reluctant to let my excitement go above any considerable level. The track record has been set with the vast majority of them. That charming spark from before usually isn't there the second (or third, or...) time around. But sometimes, the right notes get replayed and you find yourself in familiar territory with a follow-up. This sequel involves a man. A man that they pushed too far. A man named...
John Wick: Chapter 2Okay, so Chapter 2 isn't part of his name, but I wanted to sound dramatic (-ally cheezy). John Wick: Chapter 2 is the sequel that you hoped it would be. It does the "one up" thing that sequels are synonymous for (Fast & Furious, Resident Evil), but not in a cheap, lack of imagination way. More action, more guns, more laughs, and more mythology. That's what makes this a must see for the fans. What it lacks when compared to its predecessor is minute, and made up for in other areas. Once again it goes to show, that if you put enough effort into the little things, the whole picture stays afloat. The story is simple and easy to follow, yet the fight scenes and shoot outs are so detailed, that you'll actually miss something if you blink. I also loved the multiple locations for so many of those scenes, especially in Rome. There's a degree of insanity with the action that gets so high at times, I found myself laughing in pure joy at how awesome it was.
Director Chad Stahelski (John Wick) has taken these characters and given them a franchise to relish in, and we get to relish with them. No returning role has been exaggerated to be more than before, and no one other than Mr. Wick himself, hogs the spot light. But Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) also doesn't act any differently here. He has the same amount of limited dialogue, where he says only what needs to be said, and kills only who needs to be killed. More action, less banter. He saves that for his victims. One who talks a bit too much instead of realizing he's committing the gravest of errors against Baba Yaga (nickname), is Chapter 2's main villain, played by Italian film actor Riccardo Scamarcio. He doesn't take over the film like Michael Nyqvist's (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2009) hilarious character did in Part 1, and he also doesn't leave anything memorable for me to say about him. John should've been able to kill him in the first five seconds of his introduction. And one other character was held down as well in my opinion; Lance Reddick's (Fringe) Charon didn't have a huge part in part 1, but this time he's used only as a babysitter for John Wick's newest pet. It's funny for a moment, however Charon has a mysterious quality that I would've liked to have seen more of as well. Ian McShane (Deadwood) gets a few more lines this time, and his playful smirk never gets old along with his confident banter. Many actors have their brief moments to leave a nice impression, before exiting on their feet or backs. Common (Hell on Wheels), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), John Leguizamo (Spawn), Franco Nero (Django Unchained), Claudia Gerini (The Passion of the Christ), Peter Stormare (Fargo), Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), and Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy), all help to make John Wick: Chapter 2 a very worthy sequel.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of John Wick: Chapter 2
The Good- Stormare's hilarious intro scene, the pencil legend is true!, all assassins activated, Gerini's graceful departure, all three Keanu versus Common battles, the mirror room fight that would make the Joker jealous, and that open ending.
The Bad- Who the hell hires a mute to be their head of security!?
The Ugly- After seeing her for the third time in the last month (XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), someone finally figured out how to make Ruby Rose more interesting; By shutting her the hell up. Hands down, her best performance I've heard so far.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is so damn fun that it's worth it's weight in gold coins (inside joke). I still like the first one better, only because it was a surprise in every regard. This time, I generally knew what to expect. In some ways, this one is an improvement. I can't wait for Chapter 3! Give. Me. More!
Rating- 8 out of 10
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)R | 2h 2min | Action, Crime, Thriller | 10 February 2017 (USA)
After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad, Derek Kolstad (based on characters created by)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane