John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

“You stabbed the devil in the back and forced him back into the life that he had just left. You incinerated the priest's temple. Burned it to the ground. Now he's free of the marker, what do you think he'll do? He had a glimpse of the other side and…“You stabbed the devil in the back and forced him back into the life that he had just left. You incinerated the priest's temple. Burned it to the ground. Now he's free of the marker, what do you think he'll do? He had a glimpse of the other side and…

“You stabbed the devil in the back and forced him back into the life that he had just left. You incinerated the priest’s temple. Burned it to the ground. Now he’s free of the marker, what do you think he’ll do? He had a glimpse of the other side and he embraced it. But you, Signor D’Antonio… took it away from him.”

Let the bodies hit the floor. The boogeyman is back and this time its bigger and he is more badass than when we are first introduced to him. He seems to have more accuracy as he knocks down enemy after enemy with just a split seconds hesitation to reload or move between cover. The good thing about sequels is that we get reintroduced to a character we love and appreciate and see what they’re up to. What is John Wick doing now that he got revenge for the death of his sweet innocent puppy? The bad thing about sequels is that most of the time the quality is lowered, and the scripts just aren’t that interesting. The good thing for us action movie fans John Wick 2 does not fall into the bad sequel category. There is more action, but the action is necessary for a film like this. It fits the world of John Wick that we all fell in love with after seeing the first. It’s almost as if the director and producers heard the millions of fans out there say we want more; more action, more characters, more of this world, and more John Wick being John Wick.

John chasing down a biker through the streets of Manhattan for what appears to be a key card to a chop shop. It just so happens this chop shop is the location of his car that was stolen by Iosef. The owner of the shop is Iosef’s uncle who anticipates John walking in and wreaking havoc. John gets his car back and attempts to escape but gets banged up and his car rammed into several times. John makes it up to Abram’s office and the two make peace. John retires, again. This time it seems for good, he makes concrete over his stash of coin, suits and guns and spends time with his dog (who he just doesn’t name). The retirement is short lived as John gets paid a visit from Santino D’Antonio who asks him for a favor with a marker. John’s blood print being in the marker binds him to Santino’s request, but John says no. Santino leaves John’s house and proceeds to blow it up with John and his dog inside. This time the dog survives (we can all take a breath) and while John is having Aurelio fix his beat up car, walks with the dog to the famous Continental hotel.

John (Keanu Reeves) meets with Winston (Ian McShane) to discuss what John’s options are. John decides to fulfill the marker and pays Santino (Riccardo Scamarcio) a visit at the museum. John agrees to fulfill the marker brought by Santino and the price Santino is asking for; kill his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini). The only reason Santino wants his sister dead is for her seat at the high table, he believes he can do more than she can in that position. John’s next stop: Rome Italy where he stays at The Roman Continental. Since he doesn’t have any of his tools with him, John gets a new suit, some fancy dinner utensils and a detailed layout of the castle Gianna is staying in. John makes his way through the catacombs and finds himself at a rave. He makes his way into Gianna’s room where he lets her know who he is paying the debt to. To help John, Gianna kills herself so he can get out of this life for good. On his way out John runs into an old friend Cassian (Common) who takes the liberty to see what John has done. With precision John makes his way through a cluster of Gianna’s henchmen.

John and Cassian take their brawl to the Continental where the two nearly break the one rule each hotel carries; no business is to be conducted on Continental grounds. The two share a drink and vow this won’t be their last encounter. John heads back to New York and learns that Santino put a bounty on his head of 7 million dollars. Every super assassin gets alerted to this bounty and takes their shot (ahh see what I did there) at John Wick. John and Cassian have their second fight on a subway train and judging by the fact that there is a third film, we know who wins. John does get injured during this slew of assassins coming after him and seeks out the aid of the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). The Bowery king offers John a gun with just 7 rounds. 7 bullets representing each million that is on Johns head. John heads to the museum where Santino is holding a party for his introduction into the high table. John crashes this party and literally takes out everyone in his way including Ares (Ruby Rose) Santino’s head bodyguard. Santino finds refuge back at the Continental knowing full well he cannot be killed on those sacred grounds. John filled with rage kills Santino in the Continental and gets excommunicado.

Is it just me or does this second chapter of John Wick have more dead bodies than dialogue? I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all, the minimal dialogue for John makes the action more pronounced where when he does speak that little amount holds more weight than if he was reciting poetry. Someone somewhere has to be keeping count of the bodies he’s dropped. Keanu came back from the looks of it with even more accuracy and precision than he had in the first film. It is absolutely amazing to me how much deadlier he is, and people still will try and kill him. Like guys really he can’t be killed, yet. We don’t know what will happen next film as John is given 1 hour before excommunicado takes effect. I love that we actually have a cliffhanger as I’m sure when the first movie came out the studio didn’t fathom that a series would come of it.

I said it in the first John Wick review the thing I wanted more of is a deeper dive into this incredibly rich world of super assassins. My thirst for this world is incredible and the studio and director delivered.  Even with the outlandish premise, this world is insanely grounded, and it stays that way in the sequel. I love how the world gets bigger as we get a peek into a European faction of super assassins. Another thing I absolutely adore with this franchise is the subtitles and how they come across during a scene. They’re bold and the added touch of color to a single word contributes to the aesthetic of the overall film. The action shots are impeccable as John goes from bullet to bullet and clip to clip taking down anyone and everyone.

The camera work is also perfect as there is very rarely any shaking during those long action sequences. The supporting cast does a fantastic job adding more mythology to this world we’ve barely tapped into. Give me more, I need more John Wick, that’s all I want! I want spin offs and tv series of this universe and lore. There isn’t a single bad thing I can say about these first two chapters of John Wick. Laurence Fishburne is perfect for this role of Bowery King and its awesome to see him and Keanu in a noir styled film again. Their chemistry comes off the screen incredibly well.

I’m rarely the type of person to look for spoilers or fan theories on the internet but there is one I’ve heard about that intrigues me. The theory is that John Wick takes place in the Matrix universe. Now obviously I haven’t looked too deep into it so feel free to do some research. It kind of makes sense and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turns out to be true. John Wick Chapter 2 is a high octane ride that elevates everything I love and appreciate about the first one. If I were to rate John Wick Chapter 2 I’d rate it a 4.7 out of 5.

So, tell me guys, have you seen John Wick Chapter 2 and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

John Wick Chapter 2 is directed by Chad Stahelski is Rated R and has an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. John Wick Chapter 2 was released on February 10th, 2017 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 2 minutes. John Wick Chapter 2 can be bought online by retailers including Vudu and Itunes.

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