Director: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose
Action movies usually get a bad rap, often for being over-the-top with explosion and seeming unrealistic. They tend to go one of two ways; either they feature super scary stunts (think anything starring Jackie Chan), or everything just explodes for no reason. If you have a pet dog, it explodes. If the mail man delivers the mail, the mail man explodes. It’s moronic, for sure, but thankfully ‘John Wick’ is slightly more realistic, although massively exaggerated.
Cars hit the ground, and they shatter. Some guy gets shot, it shows a realistic-looking bullet wound and not something from ‘Scanners’. Whilst not everything explodes, it does deliver a gritty look at internal deals done in a “secret” underworld full of hit-men and eager to die lackeys. Sure massive oversight of “how the hell does anyone cover up this much collateral damage” kind of happens in every action movie, but whatever, it’s all in good fun.
John Wick, AKA Mr Stoic, is ready for retirement again, and minding his own business. Another soon to be dead mob boss thinks that Mr Wick is back in business after reclaiming his car stolen in the first movie. This of course leads to a short dialogue and before you know it, Mr Wick is back on the war path.
The most enjoyable part of this movie is the story. It’s more intense and deep then the last one. Side characters are developed well enough that if they die within a few seconds it feels like nothing was left out; they have a purpose to the scene rather then mindless filler. It develops further in this underworld and elaborates on who has control over everything and gives deeper insight into old Hollywood misconceptions about ruthless people and honour. I’ve met a few, and I can tell you many don’t have a concept of honour. Regardless the system they have in this alternate universe seems to work.
The only problem I had with the movie is that John is virtually indestructible. Many of the mob know this, yet people still go out of their way to either piss him off or destroy things he loves. Each time he’s shot it’s only a matter of time before his luck turns around or has some reason for him NOT to have gotten killed by gun fire. Then small armies of people still try to kill him all the while being fully aware of who he is. At this point in the series I kind of expected for someone to give up in front of him. I don’t know if he would let them go, but still. To a certain extent I think the next sequel should be called ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Morons with Death Wishes’.
So after pissing off the new King of Death, John Wick, we’re left with a story slowly unraveling into a sequel. I only have high hopes for the next one, because this one was better then the first. The action was steady, the violence was a little gritty but not too much, and the fact that the dog didn’t die this time was great. ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ is everything a sequel needs to be without tiring an old idea. Please see this in theaters, it’s fantastic!
Rhys’ Rating: 8.5 out of 10