I NEVER SAW CHAPTER 1!
The original John Wick has become known as one of the greatest action feature in recent years, I still feel ashamed that I haven't gotten around to watching it though, I had plans to see it before this, but the schedule didn't line up, so I'm reviewing Chapter 2 before ever watching the original. This movie is good, but I'm not sure if I have much to say, so forgive me if it runs a bit short, there's only so many ways to say the action kicks ass, which it does.
Keanu Reeves has earned a reputation of being a bit of stilted actor, giving some pretty "wooden" line deliveries, which I can rarely argue against, but here, that works for him, John Wick appears as the ultimate badass and Keanu Reeves nails it. Everyone nails it in this movie, from a vengeful Common, to a classy Ian McShane, to even a Matrix reunion with Laurence Fishbourne, there's a lot of talent on display for Keanu to bounce off of, physically and verbally. My favorite though, is Ruby Rose as a mute antagonist, she kicks ass while adding a lot of humor and personality to the film, I'm not sure if I've seen her elsewhere, but I hope she does more action films, she was a ton of fun to watch along the way. In the end though, this is still a movie for John Wick, he gets the bulk of the screen time, which is fine by me, when a two hour action film feels a half hour shorter, you know it's engaging.
The story is fairly simple, after the intro reminds the audiences about the last film (Wick gets revenge after his dog is killed) we find John trying to live in peace, until another task comes his way. A member of the Continental (a secret society of assassains) enlists John, against his will, to murder for him, which goes well, until John gets back stabbed, from there John goes on a revenge quest yet again. It's awesome stuff, basic, but it gets the plot going which is what matters most. I'll admit I kinda prefer the concept of the original, as it was more unique, but getting past the typical "hey you used to be this guy, please come back and do that again" story that is fairly common in action films, leads to a movie with so many awesome fights, that it's hard to care much about.
Seriously, the opening moments feel like the action scenes you'd see in a climax of a lesser film, here it's only an appetizer for what's to come. It moves along nicely, giving the audience an idea of this secret society, fleshing it out just enough so that we feel it's complete, even though we learn little more than the bare minimum, it's intriguing. But really, the details there are just there to help us understand why these guys are fighting, as well as why the movie ends the way it does. By the way, without giving much away I do hope we get a third film, my blood was already pumping for what was to come, the set up for the third film just sounds too perfect for it to not exist.
I may not have seen the original, but in the end that didn't matter, I understood this film without that so easily. John Wick Chapter 2 is one hell of a ride, an action film I highly recommend you watch, trust me you will regret not watching this one on the big screen if you miss your chance.
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Written by Octaviano Macias