What is the strangest Hollywood action franchise currently in existence? If your answer is John Wick, then give yourself a clap because you are right.
In 2014, an action film starring former A-lister Keanu Reeves came to the screen and knocked everyone’s socks off with non-stop, stylist, beautifully choreographed action scenes. It was a fun film that was a surprise hit. Come 2017 and we now have John Wick: Chapter 2 and it is still a non-stop, stylist, beautifully choreographed action film!
Director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves doubled down on what made the first film tick and then went on a “world-building” mode as we get to see the world John Wick is set in. Set shortly after the end of the first film, John Wick tracks down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov, brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef. He dispatches Tarasov's men in a violent fight that heavily damages his car but spares Tarasov after getting an agreement of "peace" between the two.
After arranging repairs for his car, John is visited by Italian crime lord Santino D'Antonio who called in a “marker” John owned him. An unbreakable promise between the two parties, John had no choice but to agree to kill Santino’s sister, Gianna. After doing the deed, as John expected, Santino send his men to kill John to tie up loose ends.
They failed and Santino put out a $7 million open contract on John's death. John goes after Santino and while he managed to kill his men, Santino himself escape to the Continental. He makes it clear that he intends to seek indefinite refuge there but John shoots and kills D'Antonio, opening himself to retaliation from the whole of the underworld.
As I wrote earlier, John Wick 2 is a doubling down of John Wick so if you like the first movie, you would probably like this one as well. The movie is bigger, with more car chases, more gun-fu, and more locations. The film starts with a bang and the action do not stop.
It is also pretty funny with some comedic moments mixed in. The script and plot is nothing to write home about but the witty dialogue was a pleasant surprise and served the film well. Helping this is the simple fact that few can served up one-liners with a face more stonily than Keanu Reeves.
However don’t hope for any emotional scenes like the one in the first movie where John screamed at Viggo on why he needs to kill his son just for killing his dog. John Wick 2 is a far less emotionally engaging film than the first movie, and there aren’t a lot of people to cheer for in this movie. The movie makes no bones about the fact that almost everyone, including John Wick, is a “bad-guy” and the movie is about bad people killing worse people.
Still, if you are looking for an action thrill ride, you can’t go wrong with John Wick 2. This is one film that’s know it’s an action flick and is unafraid to show it. Watch it!