Dir. Chad Stahelski
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
Read the newspaper version of this review: The Leamington Courier
“The man. The myth. The legend. John Wick. You're not very good at retiring.”
Jaded ‘best in the business’ hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is back, still angry, still looking to retire but this time he’s brought back into the violent world of assassinations due to an unpaid debt.
Director of the first movie, Chad Stahelski returns with a sequel that delivers exactly what fans will appreciate – slick visuals, deeper background lore and kick ass action on a whole new scale. John Wick Chapter 2 is a pure adrenaline rush of hyper violence, it’s not healthy, has dubious morals but it is undeniably exciting.
"My Wick would like a quiet word with you"
This time it’s bad guy Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo ‘Burnt’ Scamarcio), who challenges Wick to take out his sister Gianna (Claudia ‘The Passion of the Christ’ Gerini) and when he says ‘take out’ it’s not on a date. Knowing the Wick wants to retire, D’antonio, rather than kill his dog, motivates John by burning down his house!? Cue mayhem and death, lots of death, most of which is delivered by Wick in his graceful gun-fu fighting style which turns killing into a kind of art form.
Reeves even at 52 is completely believable as Wick and he makes this role a cool on screen icon to rival Neo from The Matrix. Speaking of The Matrix it’s fun to have a mini reunion with Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne who plays shady Crime Lord - The Bowery King who Wick turns to for assistance.
" These are not your friends"
With a comic book meets video game plot structure Joh Wick Chapter 2 piles on the action clichés but does so with so much style and energy that unless you really hate action movies you’ll be dragged along in a state of breathless anticipation for the next fight.
The underworld mythos of this murder-em-up is certainly fascinating and allows for potentially more Wick adventures in the future. Chapter 2 is a long film though and because it rarely lets up on the action it can leave you dazed and confused from the visual beating administered to your eyeballs.
Certainly not for everyone, and packing scenes that are liable to offend (can you really have a shoot out in a nightclub these days without uncomfortable real world news flashbacks?), this is an old school action movie redressed in cutting edge neo-noir style. These violent delights have violent ends as they say…
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - I'm thinking he's back, in style)...
Awesomeness öööö – Nobody dispatches bad guys quite like Wick
Laughs ööö – Wry smiles to be had between the carnage
Horror öööö – Quite nasty comic book violence
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Payback isn't good for the soul
Read the Darkmatters original John Wick review