John Wick served as somewhat of a mini comeback for Keanu Reeves grossing $43 million on a modest $20 million budget and the violent action flick garnered a quick cult following once the movie hit home video. That’s not too shabby for a film some people avoided completely since the plot revolved around a former hitman seeking vengeance on the men who broke into his home, stole his car and worst of all killed his Beagle puppy which was a gift from his deceased wife. This time around luckily no canines are harmed on-screen, but you can’t say the same for the numerous thugs John Wick tears his way through in the adrenaline fueled follow-up John Wick: Chapter 2.
The first film not only introduced the frightening hitman who will stop at nothing to even the score (and then some), but the intriguing criminal underworld of the Continental run by Ian McShane’s checks and balances manager Winston. The first time around this sector of thieves living somewhat peacefully under one roof was an intriguing concept ripe with potential and it’s nice to see this society of thieves, killers and bosses explored more in John Wick: Chapter 2. Some of the professional killers that come looking for John Wick’s head looks like they jumped from the pages of a graphic novel with their distinct personalities. Even though director Chad Stahelski separates John Wick: Chapter 2 from the rest of the generic action movie pack with its unique look, it’s not all style and glam in this action vehicle. Bullets crash into plenty of skulls as Wick descends into violence attempting to earn his ticket back into retirement.
This new sequel starts out where the last film left off with the Boogeyman (Wick’s Nickname) taking out the remaining members of the Russian crime syndicate he fought with the last time around. After Wick ties up the loose ends from the first film, the former assassin attempts to settle back down into retirement with his new dog. As you can guess this doesn’t last long and before you know it John Wick is back in the game which ends up creating a price on his head that every (and I do mean EVERY!) hitman in NYC is looking to cash in on. This leads to some impressive bullet riddled action with Wick dispatching his adversaries with head shots, his car and even a pencil. John Wick: Chapter 2 is unapologetic with its gratuitous gangster violence and it makes for an amazing R-Rated good time for adults who miss the shoot’em ups from the late 1980s and early 1990s before CG action scenes took over.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is balls to the wall action that ups the ante at every plot turn and gun fired. If the first film was an intimate revenge flick, this new entry has a “Me against the World” mentality with Wick putting on a show for the audience that will have them clapping at the chaos he manifest on-screen. Ian McShane getting more screen time is always a good thing and seeing the world of the High Table function outside the United States is a neat twist in the story. If you’re looking for 2 hours of pure action full of style and unique characters, John Wick: Chapter 2 is the film to check out.
Overall, I give John Wick: Chapter 2 the score of 3.25 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell