Film director Chad Stahelski and actor Keanu Reeves return to bring us the action film sequel ‘John Wick: Chapter 2,’ with Derek Kolstad returning to write. Summit Entertainment, Thunder Road Pictures, and Lionsgate released the movie.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) retrieves his car from Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare), the new head of the Russian Mafia. He turns it over to chop shop owner Aurelio (John Leguizamo), who promises to repair it. Wick gets a visit from Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), a leader in the Camarro Crime Syndicate. He uses a “mark” to force Wick back into action and kill his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini), At first, Wick refuses, but after Santino burns down his home, Wick visits Winston (Ian McShane), who owns a “neutral” hotel and is a key underworld figure who tells Wick he has no choice. Wick completes the job, but Santino betrays him and puts a price on his head. Mute assassin Ares (Ruby Rose), Gianna’s vengeful former security guard Cassian (Common), and a host of other assassins are gunning for him, forcing Wick to go on the run.
As sequels go, Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad do a good job of moving the story forward with displaying the events of the first film. It shows how Wick’s actions come back to haunt him, but I will say, this movie felt less personal. The predecessor had a connection with the character of Wick’s wife Heen, played again by Bridget Moynahan in flashbacks. She was more of an afterthought in this movie so the events felt less connected. I also feel they underutilized Laurence Fishburne, but that is more personal preference.
Once again, the technical aspect was excellent. Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard return for the musical score, which perfectly synced with the events happening on screen. Eric Brown takes over as fight coordinator and he does an excellent job with the stunts and choreography. However, there is a battle sequence in a hall of mirrors, a somewhat staple in action films, that was a bit confusing as far as visuals go. Outside of that, I enjoyed every fight scene.
Last, but definitely not least, Keanu Reeves once again shines as John Wick. His on-screen presence and the way he portrays the character is unmatched. This is a top-notch performance for him as the role truly allows him to shine. Also, a review would not be complete without mentioning Ruby Rose, who gives an all-star performance as Ares. She definitely proves to be a formidable presence on screen as well.
Bottom Line, John Wick: Chapter 2 does have a few flaws, but it is unmatched as a sequel. It provides dynamite performances from the cast and has some cool action mixed with an excellent story.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Extreme violence, Bloody scenes
FAVORITE QUOTE: As I live and breathe! John Wick. The man. The myth. The legend. You’re not very good at retiring
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.