Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Single-Minded Action: John Wick, Chapter 2

Action hero, anti-hero, cold-blooded killer, ultimate killing machine...all fit the character of John Wick played by Keanu Reeves. There is something different about the action movie series John Wick. The first movie was the story of this ultimate assassin who gave up his legendary status in the underworld for love. When his wife dies, Wick is left with only the memory of his wife, the dog she gave him, and his car. When the car is stolen and the dog killed by a reckless member of the Russian underworld who attacks Wick in his home, Wick returns momentarily to seek vengeance and get his car back. The action sequences of the first John Wick film are, to say the least, astonishing. The movie was a surprise hit.

In John Wick, Chapter 2, Wick is once again forced to return to his old life as "The Boogey Man" when a member of the Italian underworld, Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), demands his services using a marker or blood oath that in Wick's world is inviolate. Wick begs Santino not to call in this marker, but Santino will not be put off and destroys Wick's home and so many of the memories that Wick has used for his wife. And so, Wick meets his tormentor's demands and then turns on the tormentor. 

If possible, the action sequences are even more astonishing than the original. John Wick, Chapter 2 is an action movie in every sense of the word. What makes it work is not just the seemingly continuous action sequences that are seamlessly staged, the movie gives the audience moments to breath filled with often dark humor. Wick is played by Reeves not as some sociopath but with a certain moral code and empathetic feel. He is not just good at what he does, he is the most efficient in the world. John Wick, Chapter 2 is an enjoyable, over-the-top movie that is a fun watch and every bit as much fun as the first. John Wick, Chapter 2 is rated R for extreme violence and brief nudity. While Lionsgate has not officially green-lit Chapter 3, it is pretty clear from the end of Chapter 2, Keanu Reeves and director, Chad Stahelski, that it is already in the works and both actor and director are looking forward to making the third installment of the franchise.