When I sat down to watch ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’, thoughts were going through my mind. “Would it be able to stand up against its amazing predecessor?”. “Would it be another great action movie?”. Well, as soon as the mesmerizing opening set piece that managed to wrap up the events of the first ‘John Wick’ finished, and the title came up on-screen, I knew I was going to be in for one hell of a ride.
‘John Wick: Chapter 2’, starring Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Riccardo Scamarcio, Common, Ruby Rose, and Laurence Fishburne, is the sequel to Chad Stahelski’s 2014 directorial debut, ‘John Wick’.
‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ picks up almost immediately after the ending of its predecessor. It follows the titular character, John Wick (Keanu Reeves), as an old acquaintance comes back into his life, which takes him back into the world of assassins. This all leads to betrayal, tough enemies, and a body count that seems to reach triple figures. You get to see more of this assassin world, which is one of the most interesting aspects about this film. You get a sense of how far this underground world really goes on an international scale.
The action scenes are beautiful to watch. Each fight is choreographed to a high standard which elevates this film into well-made action movie material. They are violent to watch, yet you can’t help but wonder why most modern-day action movies don’t film action like this. The way that Stahelski films them, makes you feel like you are in the thick of the action, which is gritty and beautiful at the same time. The use of long takes also makes you understand the effort that the crew put into making ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’, which also heightens the danger that the boogeyman, also known as John Wick, feels when he is in these crazy situations.
The acting is perfect for this kind of movie. The cast blend into their characters with ease, and they all have great chemistry with each other. The amount of effort that Keanu Reeves puts into this movie is just crazy. If you go and watch the online videos of Keanu Reeves training for these movies, you will really see his commitment for the role of a feared and well-trained assassin.
Other positives include the mesmerizing soundtrack that is more techno focused, yet it works so well with the tone of the film. As I mentioned before the plot is more complex compared to its predecessor. It really reminded me of how the plot of ‘The Raid 2’ started to look more in-depth at the underground organizations, compared to the simpler plot of ‘The Raid: Redemption‘. I should also mention that it is a really fast-paced movie, that grabs you tight and doesn’t let you go until the end credits pop onto the screen.
Overall, ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ is one of the best action movies to come out in the past couple of years. It’s a brutal, yet well choreographed film that manages to improve upon its predecessor in almost every way. This is a wet dream for any action lover.