Double the Wick = Double the fun
John Wick Chapter 2 is the 2017 sequel to the successful 2014 action thriller John Wick. Keanu Reeves returns to star as the titular hitman, with Chad Stahelski also returning as director. Chapter 2 also stars Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane.
John Wick retrieves his car that was stolen from him in the first film and heads home. However, a crime lord named Santino D'Antonio shows up on John's front doorstep and asks him to carry out an assassination attempt on D'Antonio's sister. John refuses, but D'Antonio uses special means to force John to take on the mission. John is, thus, thrown back into action and encounters various twists and turns.
Running longer than its predecessor, Chapter 2 is more saturated with all the goodies that made the first film a stylish and fun experience. John Wick once again dishes out kills like they were free samples. The lighting and cinematography are still impressive, and the film has that kinetic and luscious vibe that is missing from too many action films today.
- The action is blazing hot and crackles like fireworks, having plenty of bang to keep making you crave more. Reeves moves and shoots with terrific craft, and the recurring lack of shaky cam is truly a welcome sight (again). No shaky cam helps the action look coherent and focused. Wick is running and fighting bad guys through catacombs in Rome in one scene, and camera angles and movements are used in a way that make Wick look as if he is maneuvering in a third person shooter video game. This is the only such action scene where this happens, yet the scene used camera work that I paid extra attention to and believe is worth mentioning. Wick does not stand in one place and let the baddies come to him. He keeps on his feet and scopes them out one by one. Every one of Wick's kill sessions is a thrill rush that keeps finding new ways to make you laugh, cringe, or both. You will love to know that he does kill a couple men with a mere pencil.
- As compelling and fun as John Wick is, this installment sometimes pushes the limits of logic and reality. John gets swept up by an oncoming car a couple of times, and yet he gets up and keeps fighting and shooting like almost nothing happened. He has a few scratches on his face and he shows a slight limp. I would not want to experiment this, but my belief is that any kind of hit from an oncoming car will certainly result in broken bones and an immediate trip to the ER. Wick is driving and gets his car hit by several other cars in the opening scene, but again, he brushes off potential injuries like he was Superman or the Hulk. I would say that making Wick a little more human would do this franchise wonders in the future.
John Wick Chapter 2 brings more loaded and stylish action to make it a formidable follow-up to its predecessor. Wick might seem a little too invincible at times, but it's hard to deny that the film is still a slam-bang action thriller that is a MUCH better choice to see than Fifty Shades Darker.
Recommend? Yes, but make sure you've seen the first one. Otherwise, you'll be confused throughout.
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