“John Wick: Chapter 2” is directed by Chad Stahelski and it is the return of Keanu Reeves’s kickass character whom we were introduced to back in 2014. In this sequel to the highly appreciated action movie, “John Wick,” John must return to the criminal underworld in order to repay a debt. Throughout, it is discovered that a bounty was put on Wick. Therefore giving us another fast paced (for the most part) action thrill ride.
Before this movie came out, I was somewhat concerned for a couple reasons. One, this movie was supposed to come out in February and if you follow movies and release dates on a regular basis, you’d probably know that February is the paper shredder for movies. Seriously, just imagine a script going into a paper shredder just for how truly awful it really is. Also, I was kind of worried that this would have the “Taken” effect. What I mean is that the first “Taken” film, at least to me, was pure awesomeness. You’ve got tons of cool action, relatable characters, and that AMAZING line Liam Neeson gives. “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you want.” Then “Taken 2” comes out, it was nothing like the first one. Is it a complete abomination? Not really, but it’s close to that! By the way, if you’re wondering about the third Taken film, I’d say it’s better than the second one, but I think it was probably only made to complete a trilogy. Would I say we needed this John Wick sequel? I wouldn’t say we didn’t, but I wouldn’t say we did either. I would have been fine either way. Nevertheless, “John Wick: Chapter 2” was a fun experience.
For characters, you can already tell we’re kicking this segment off by talking about John Wick. John Wick is played by Keanu Reeves, and say what you want about the guy as an actor, but in this movie, here are my honest thoughts, and this can count for the previous John Wick film as well, Keanu didn’t do bad with his performance. One thing I can wholeheartedly appreciate from Keanu in this movie is how he is in action. As of right now, Keanu is up there with folks like Donnie Yen, Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson, and Liam Neeson as one of my favorite actors when it comes to action. I can also appreciate the pristine editing, but that appreciation can also go towards Keanu himself, because I saw him in a video off set once, he really commits to his craft and that video can support that. Like seriously, there’s not that much quick cutting or shaky cam in this movie. Everything feels fluid and natural, at times it’s like you’re playing a third person shooter. I’m gonna get back to the action a little later, but to keep a long ramble short, Keanu’s a badass.
The main antagonist of the film is played by Riccardo Scamarcio, and I must say that he did a fine job. I’m not sure if I’ll remember his character all that much, but I’d say he did alright as far as acting goes. There’s not really much else I believe is worth saying about him other than he was fine in terms of action and I can’t complain about him much.
I’m not gonna get too much into depth about the characters because I want to talk about the action sequences. I’ll get to those in a second, but I’ll get two more characters under my belt. One character I want to start off with that intrigued me was Ruby Rose’s character of Ares. I loved Rose’s performance in this movie because it was all done in sign language. I don’t know, something about it makes her come off as slightly more badass. Plus you add in the wacky subtitles and you’ve got quite a show. I mentioned Ruby Rose was pretty cool in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” I personally liked her better in this film.
Last but not least, let’s talk about Laurence Fishburne. If you haven’t seen “The Matrix,” by the way, if you haven’t seen “The Matrix,” you may want to rethink your life choices, Fishburne is in that movie, and so is Keanu Reeves. With that being said, I was pretty excited to see what would happen with the two of them reuniting in this movie. I wouldn’t say Fishburne’s role was entirely forced, but after seeing the role he was in, it almost felt like this reunion was somewhat forced. Not completely forced, but somewhat forced if you get my drift. Am I absolutely disappointed? Not really, but in one way or another, it was like the original cast members returning to the “Ghostbusters” reboot, although NOWHERE near as embarrassing. I am happy to see the two reunite, it’s like if sometime in the future, Daisy Ridley got her own action film and John Boyega came in to play a minor character, it would be cool for those who saw the newer “Star Wars” films. I liked Laurence’s role in the film, and I’d say that I ‘d rather have him in the film as opposed to not having in the film, but it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
Now, let’s get to what I really want to talk about, the action. When it comes to the “John Wick” films, we have gotten some of the greatest action scenes I’ve ever witnessed! Remember that nightclub scene in the first film? Well, there aren’t any of those in this film, but we do get another scene with blaring techno music. It reminded me of the first movie and it had me banging my head a little and tapping my foot as well. I’m not gonna reveal much about what I’m gonna say, but there’s one thing that John Wick does in this movie that made me ask a question to myself. Which movie did this better? This movie or “The Dark Knight?” Want a hint on what I’m talking about? It has to do an object mentioned in the last movie, and also mentioned in this movie. That’s pretty much all I’ll say as far as that goes.
Another thing I want to bring up is a couple problems I have with the film, because this film is not perfect. There is one character in this movie that is talking with John Wick, she cuts herself in both her arms. After that she gets in a hot tub which is in the room, then dies shortly afterwards. What is my problem? She is CLEARLY dead, and yet John wastes a bullet on her. You’d think with all that blood coming out of her along with her head tilting to her shoulder she’d be dead in an instant, but John still had to shoot a bullet. Also, this is very minor, but at the beginning of the film, I felt like I wasn’t getting enough action. Sure, there was a huge action sequence at the start of the film, but it felt like the movie dipped too soon. Granted it does pick up the pace a little later, but still, it bothered me while watching the movie. I might forgive this in due time, but for now, this complaint still stands.
Last but not least, let’s talk about one of my favorite segments of the movie, the hall of mirrors action sequence. There’s like a few minutes of action taking place in a museum and there’s a hall of mirrors, and NOT ONCE did I see a camera, tripod, or light. THAT IS AWESOME. I actually read in a review on Business Insider that this essentially pays homage to “Enter the Dragon,” which I have not seen. Even if I did see it, this sequence would have possibly still been mind blowing to me.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” is not only an excellent action film, but a terrific sequel, and a stellar February film! Is it better than the original? I cannot decide, they are pretty close in terms of likability at this point. Although I will say, if I had to choose one film over the other to watch if I were alone on a Friday night with nothing else to do, I’d rather watch the first one. Nevertheless, “John Wick: Chapter 2” definitely deserves your money and it also doesn’t do something which “Taken 2” managed to do, which is suck. I’m gonna give “John Wick: Chapter 2” an 8/10. I can’t saw much for upcoming reviews, but it’s quite possible that sometime soon that I’m gonna go see “Fist Fight.” I’m not sure if that’ll happen, but we’ll see what the future holds. By the way, I’m not sure if I’ll see “Logan” because, don’t kill me for saying this, but I never seen a single “X-Men” film. If I were to go see “Logan,” I’d go buy the X-Men films immediately and do a marathon before it comes out. Also, I want to thank everyone who signed my “King of the Nerds” season 4 pickup petition so far. The petition has now been out for a week and it already has 31 supporters, so thanks for the support! If you want to sign the petition, or just check it out for shiggles, I’ll have the link down below. Thanks a lot guys for signing, and thanks for reading this review, stay tuned for more coming soon. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
KING OF THE NERDS SEASON 4 PICKUP PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/game-show-network-have-a-network-pick-up-king-of-the-nerds-for-season-4?source_location=minibar