Film Review: John Wick: Chapter Two
“You Stabbed The Devil In The Back. To Him This Isn’t Vengeance, This Is Justice…”
Along with The Raid movies in 2011 and 2014 respectively, 2015’s John Wick stands up there as a prime example of how to do an action movie properly in modern-day cinema, utilising the somewhat distant characteristic of everyone’s favourite Lebanese export by creating a stone-cold merciless killer and placing him in the middle of a quite admirable neo-noir backdrop which offered the opportunity for the titular retired hitman to kill as many bad guys as humanly possible. Where the original thrived in the best use of a handgun since Michael Mann’s Collateral, with the thrilling action set pieces akin more to tightly packed choreographed dance scenes than just mindless free fire, the main pulling power of the original was the B-Movie-esque straightforward storytelling of the movie, one which at no point attempted to be something more than just a classic action adventure, inevitably resulting in a much more enjoyable thrill ride than one might have previously thought. As per the norm of current cinematic climates therefore, the success of Wick inevitably has brought with it a sequel, one which once again features Reeves in the leading role and a movie which actually manages to surpass the quality of its’ predecessor, featuring bigger set pieces, cooler kills and a heightened sense of sheer lunacy which creates a sequel which takes the OTT nature of the Wickverse all the way up to eleven.
Following on almost immediately from the conclusion of the first film, Chapter Two heads straight into the action-packed territory everyone in the audience seemed to expect, highlighting Wick’s reunion with his dearly departed vehicle after a mildly intense car chase, a bout of tough hand-to-hand combat battles, and a peace treaty with guest star Peter Stormare, who chews the scenery portraying the sheepish relative of Wick’s foes from the first movie in a theme-setting opening ten minutes. Although more stylised than the first movie, Chapter Two also ramps up the levels of violence depicted on-screen, with its’ titular character using everything from high-powered weaponry to an everyday pencil in an attempt to kill as many cannon fodder as humanly possible. In the leading role, Reeves too seems to have found peace with the character, having fun where necessary in a performance which is once again low on dialogue but ripe in complete bad-assery from start to finish. Whilst the plot is pretty straightforward, the ambiguity and strangeness of the underworld nature of Wick’s world is intriguing enough to carry the film to a conclusion which inevitably leads on to the certainty of a sequel, yet if the levels of quality continue to be as superb as Chapter Two, I look forward to see what eventually comes around next.
Overall Score: 8/10
Posted on 16/02/2017, in Uncategorized and tagged action, Adventure, Chad Stahelski, Common, drama, Film 2017, Film Review, Ian McShane, John Wick: Chapter 2, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Neo-Noir, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, Sequel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.