Movie Description: “After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.”
I never thought I would have so much fun watching a fictional character headshot so many people. My mind was blown with how entertained I was throughout this entire film. The first John Wick is an action masterpiece that has such a simplistic narrative, yet the atmosphere feels so grand. John Wick Chapter 2 exceeded my expectations especially because this movie didn’t do the same things that the first film did which is what the majority of sequels usually do. I got to see John Wick use a damn pencil to kill two people okay, this was THE sh*t, the movie is worth full price on the biggest screen. Let’s get started!
John Wick Chapter 2 starts off with a brilliant and engaging hook of reintroducing the uber-assassin character who is also known as THE BOOGEYMAN. The opening of this film felt like the first movie just wrapped up in ten minutes. You have the iconic character, beautifully choreographed action (fighting & vehicle chase sequences), and motivation of revenge which meant getting his stolen car back. I could tell the action was bigger and better, which doesn’t make a sequel superior, the execution is what matters and it was excellent.
I was curious as to what would bring John Wick back into the world of the assassins to kill again. That was actually my main concern because it could have felt less compelling than his dog being murdered. NOPE, the event that happens in this film to make John Wick blood lusted again is perfect and made me want to follow him on his journey as he extinguished all those who BURNED him.
This time in the story, it wasn’t as simple as before. There’s an intriguing obstacle in his path of revenge which establishes some horrifying stakes he can’t risk to fail against. These risks involve his assassin organization, like The Continental, and following rules. The world building that they accomplished was impressive and they managed to create a cohesive mythology on an international level.
It was surprising to me to see John Wick nervous in some situations and that’s only because he had other assassins after him which was another great way to elevate the fight scenes from the previous movie. Seeing him overcome these life threatening obstacles was so much fun, even cooler when the setting was taking place in Rome.
I’m pretty sure he killed like hundreds of people in this film and you see him evolve as a character through his killings as a desperate man who is just trying to be free of his dark past. The dialogue was AWESOME…for example, “You want a war, or do you want to just give me a gun?” HELL YES and whenever he has a gun, rest in peace to anyone who is on the other side of it.
Keanu Reeves, although not the greatest actor, owns this role as he completely embodies John Wick and becomes the man, the myth, and the legend. I love the commitment that Reeves puts into this franchise as he legitimately trains in Jiu Jitsu and uses firearms like a professional. He makes me believe that he is an intimidating and unstoppable hit man. He IS John fu@king Wick and helped create an instant classic action character in cinema.
Ian McShane as Winston is crucial to the entire lore of John Wick and he scares me. He terrifies me because he is unpredictable. In moments he’ll be your friend with advice and the next thing you know, he’ll slaughter you if you break the rules. I love how serious he takes the rules of The Continental and there is never any lenience, only punishment. My attention is immediately glued to the screen whenever he is in frame.
Riccardo as Santino was a great antagonist. I hated him due to his motivations which I thought were great enough for a John Wick storyline. His performance was convincing as this greedy man who wanted power. He felt like an Italian Jude Law. The last scene that he had in the movie was insane and my jaw dropped.
It’s been almost 20 years since The Matrix when we saw Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves on the screen together. Seeing them reunite in these roles alone is worth the price of admission.
Everyone else did a fantastic job with contributing their performances, allowing more leverage in making me believe everything that happened felt authentic.
There is a level known as beast mode and above that is JOHN WICK MODE which is a perfect description of the entire soundtrack. The music fills me with adrenaline and gets me extremely excited just in general, but when it’s put into the film with context, it’s just so sick!
To me, great cinematography is when the visuals are contributing to the storytelling. A film should SHOW us what’s going on rather than tell us. When it comes to analyzing cinematography, simply, I ask myself, “Was this film nice to look at?” Then I can choose to get in depth and look for whether colors were symbolic, placement of characters in the frame, composition, lighting, shadows, and point of view.
Was John Wick Chapter 2 a nice film to look at…ABSOLUTELY! This film has some of the prettiest fight scenes in recent memory when it comes to wide shots and light composition. The cinematographer does a masterful job with keeping the camera steady so that I was able to actually see the action and appreciate it’s glory. His job as a filmmaker is to be a magician with a camera, creating illusions that trick me into thinking they are real and it worked because I felt every bruise that John Wick received.
I love the choices of colors for the lighting, one of my favorites is the echoing blue they used in the catacombs under Rome which added more layers to the story telling as it represented John Wick’s melancholy as he is sucked back into his assassin life.
I loved the themes of the film. The main themes I got were love, revenge, and forgiveness. John Wick clearly loves his wife, she’s the reason he still wakes up to get out of bed and attaches himself to anything she was associated with to ease his pain. Ironically, she’s also the person who made him retire his life of killing and then get back into it. He is fueled with revenge because the objects that are keeping him sane enough to live are being taken away from him constantly. He’s being reminded of his agony and that’s why he takes his pain out on others.
By the end of this film, I got the sense that John Wick blames himself for his wife’s death. He has so much control when it comes to taking the life of anyone, yet he couldn’t do anything to prevent his own wife’s passing. I believe it burns him up inside and he’s finding any opportunity to have a reason to live, a purpose. What I got most from this movie is a reflection on the ability to let go and move on. This is important because nobody’s life should be defined by pain, including John Wick. It’s unhealthy to keep beating yourself or others up repetitively because it prevents happiness and affects relationships. It’s best to let go, ease the stress, walk away & remember the good.
Look, John Wick Chapter 2 was just freaking outstanding okay, it’s just that simple, The story is epic, the performances are perfect, the obstacles are suspenseful, the music will get the heart pumping, the cinematography is gorgeous, the fight choreography is brutal, and the themes are important. This was an amazing time at the theater and the conclusion left room for another thrilling chapter. I hope you see this film and love it just as much as I did, thanks for reading my review. My rating for John Wick Chapter 2 is 10/10 easily!