“John Wick: Chapter 2” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

2 March, 2017

Director: Chad Stahelski
Screenwriter: Derek Kolstad
Director of Photography: Dan Laustsen
Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose

Synopsis: A retired assassin who will do anything to cut ties with his past finds himself violently dragged back into action after an Italian mobster carrying a blood oath recruits him to murder his heiress sister.

John Wick 2 Review:

Commencing with guns blazing and tyres screeching, “John Wick: Chapter 2” gets off to a whopping start, dispensing action like free candy in a sequence of unadulterated high-speed spectacle. By far the most arresting opening of the year, the movie begins like a ballet of war with pummels and punches aimed directly at the ribs, heels, and jaws of those involved, allowing stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski to get his ferocious face-to-face combat down to a fine art in a matter of minutes. Always searching for the artistry in action, Stahelski begins with an unbeatable hand, choreographing the woomp of bodies flying over bonnets with the precision of a hobby painter placing the final licks of paint onto an elaborate doll’s house.

Designed like a video game in which every character has the potential to be a secret assassin, “John Wick 2” leaves reality behind as it re-enters an unpoliced universe where its title character unintentionally makes an enemy of the entire world. Upping the game with a code of honour that becomes crucial to Wick’s eventual downfall, the movie outdoes the revenge plot of its predecessor with sophisticated set pieces, reaching its pinnacle with a tense hall of mirrors sequence inspired by the grand finales of classics like “The Lady from Shanghai” and “Enter the Dragon.” Although its symbols are mostly stolen, with a bathtub suicide playing out like a rendition of Sir John Everett Millais’ ‘Ophelia’, the film accounts for silliness with moments of creative awareness, drawing attention to the artistic mind behind the mindless action even when it opens the movie up to scrutiny.

Placed in a world where practically everyone dons tattoos and firearms, “John Wick: Chapter 2” makes no mistake about where its true loyalties lie, ultimately allowing the movie to deliver more for lovers of on-screen violence than to those searching for something a little deeper than surface theatrics. Thankfully, the screenplay ensures that every bone break and head crack comes complete with a laugh or two as the film’s hilariously hands-on approach bridges the rather tense gap between loud action and wavering subtexts, helping distract from the movie’s lack of substance with its brief acknowledgement of the story’s overall ludicrousness.


Review Date
John Wick: Chapter 2