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Review: John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick: Chapter 2
02.06.2017
8 10

PLOT: An old debt sends John Wick (Keanu Reeves) to Rome, where a high-level assassination ends with him in the cross-hairs of any killer interested in collecting a $7 million bounty.

REVIEW: The first JOHN WICK was an action fan’s dream, and one which took many of us by surprise. No one would have expected co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, who relied heavily on their stunt choreography backgrounds, to mount a modestly budgeted programmer that would outshine movies with multiple times its budget and become a cult classic. Star Keanu Reeves in particular seemed re-energized by the heavy-duty physical part, his most demanding since THE MATRIX. With Leitch now directing DEADPOOL 2, it’s been left to Stahelski to craft a worthy follow-up, and the sequel does not disappoint. It does what a good follow-up does - it expands on the universe from the first film.

The chief difference here is that Wick isn’t specifically out for vengeance. Rather, a blood oath he made to a mobster (Riccardo Scamarcio) comes back to haunt him when the former friend demands Wick eliminate his sister to give him full reigns to the family empire. Wick does what he has to do, lest he cross Winston (Ian McShane), whose “Continental” network guaranteed the debt. Obviously, things go awry, with Wick eventually having to deal with a huge bounty on his head that has dozens of top killers out gunning for him.

While the new baddie played by Scamarcio is familiar, he does his job, which is to pave the way for a bigger confrontation we’re teased with towards the end. While JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 does suffer from IRON MAN 2 syndrome a tiny bit, in that it’s setting up something bigger, the film itself is so wildly entertaining that you won’t care. As in the first, Stahelskis made this a particularly pretty film, with gorgeous neon visuals from Dan Laustsen, very much on the same style of his work with Guillermo Del Toro. The action is expanded, with Wick traveling to Rome, where he takes shelter with the Italian branch of the Continental, run, in a neat cameo, by legendary action star Franco Nero.

Most of the action takes place in NYC, with a recognizable Montreal standing in for it at various times. While the first one got millage out of delaying the action until sometime into the film, making the twist that Wick was a much-feared hit-man a surprise (at least to those who never saw a trailer or a poster), the sequel gets the mayhem started right away as Wick tries to recover his beloved Mustang. Peter Stormare contributes a fun cameo as the cousin of the baddie in the first film, terrified that Wick has come to get him - as his reputation is so fierce.

The action is huge, adopting a THE RAID 2 style of bigger is better, with more and more baddies for Reeves to take on. There’s a special thrill of seeing Reeves in the part, as he’s clearly doing his own choreography, and really going into the part wholeheartedly. If there’s anything disappointing, it’s that his MATRIX co-star Laurence Fishburne doesn’t get much to do in a non-action part. The fights are pretty impressive, especially whenever Reeves is pitted against Common, who plays a rival killer. The two have a particularly good subway car showdown, and scenes like this easily equal anything in the first.

In fact Stahelski comes close to topping the original in what seems to be a tribute to THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, where dozens of assassins trip over themselves trying to eliminate their target, although unlike Inspector Clouseau, Wick kills all of his enemies. Running an even two hours, JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 gives fans what they want as far as a sequel goes, with more, obviously, to come. It’s a fun franchise film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and wholehearted embraces an R-rated aesthetic that’s increasingly rare these days.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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12:52AM on 02/14/2017

Solid flick

Can't wait to see Chapter 3, hopefully he gets some downtime to heal up.
Can't wait to see Chapter 3, hopefully he gets some downtime to heal up.
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2:16AM on 02/11/2017

Saw it tonight

I loved it. If you loved the first one then you should have a reasonable expectation of where a sequel could go. Sure, half the charm of the first one was being introduced to the Boogeyman but this sequel expands on the culture. It was just a whole lot of fun. Again, if you have seen the first one you should know what to expect IMO.
I loved it. If you loved the first one then you should have a reasonable expectation of where a sequel could go. Sure, half the charm of the first one was being introduced to the Boogeyman but this sequel expands on the culture. It was just a whole lot of fun. Again, if you have seen the first one you should know what to expect IMO.
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4:53PM on 02/07/2017

Sweet

Not many movies have come close to the pure butt kicking action that was the Raid 1 & 2, but John Wick one had some pretty awesome scenes. Good to hear this one takes it up a notch. I'll have a nice little Sunday sometime watching all 4 ass kicking movies back to back!
Not many movies have come close to the pure butt kicking action that was the Raid 1 & 2, but John Wick one had some pretty awesome scenes. Good to hear this one takes it up a notch. I'll have a nice little Sunday sometime watching all 4 ass kicking movies back to back!
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12:50PM on 02/07/2017

There is something very likable able Keanu, he really broke free from being typecast

Good for him, I am really looking forward to this movie. It looked really fun.
Good for him, I am really looking forward to this movie. It looked really fun.
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11:39AM on 02/07/2017
Glad to hear it's receiving good review.
Glad to hear it's receiving good review.
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12:12AM on 02/07/2017
Thank god and oh ya
Thank god and oh ya
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+0
9:15PM on 02/06/2017
Awesome, can't wait to see it this weekend.
Awesome, can't wait to see it this weekend.
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6:46PM on 02/06/2017
Saw the first one opening night at Arclight in San Diego, and they teleconferenced the Keanu Reeves and the director live from the L.A. Arclight after the premiere for a Q&A. The director/writer said (at the time) that he had two sequels already written and ready to go, and that the studio had greenlit the second movie. So not surprising that it's good when someone actually takes the time to have the story prepared ahead of time. Can't wait to see it.
Saw the first one opening night at Arclight in San Diego, and they teleconferenced the Keanu Reeves and the director live from the L.A. Arclight after the premiere for a Q&A. The director/writer said (at the time) that he had two sequels already written and ready to go, and that the studio had greenlit the second movie. So not surprising that it's good when someone actually takes the time to have the story prepared ahead of time. Can't wait to see it.
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6:35PM on 02/06/2017
20 years ago a movie like John Wick probably received 15% in Rotten Tomatoes, and became a Razzie champ. Sly and Arnold's movies from the 80s and 90s were far better movies than John Wick 1, but critics and a big part of the audience hated them. But today Trump is president and MARVEL flicks are considered art so...
And, yeah, I think the first movie is really bad, but I like Keanu anyway. Good 4 him! lol
20 years ago a movie like John Wick probably received 15% in Rotten Tomatoes, and became a Razzie champ. Sly and Arnold's movies from the 80s and 90s were far better movies than John Wick 1, but critics and a big part of the audience hated them. But today Trump is president and MARVEL flicks are considered art so...
And, yeah, I think the first movie is really bad, but I like Keanu anyway. Good 4 him! lol
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7:51PM on 02/06/2017
I enjoyed John Wick and still love Commando, Predator, Total Recall, and the other Arnold classics. I think there's room to enjoy both.
I enjoyed John Wick and still love Commando, Predator, Total Recall, and the other Arnold classics. I think there's room to enjoy both.
6:30PM on 02/06/2017
I had read rumors the movie wasn't that great. Good to hear that isn't the case!
I had read rumors the movie wasn't that great. Good to hear that isn't the case!
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12:55PM on 02/07/2017
I like Bumb's reviews.
I like Bumb's reviews.
-1
5:54PM on 02/06/2017

Good to hear....

I really like Reeves as a person (and find he's not a great actor, but also not annoying), so am really glad to hear that this seems to be working out well for him. I really thought that abysmal "The Day The Earth Stood Still" would kill his career, so am relieved to see him back with something solid. Sounds great, can't wait to see it.
I really like Reeves as a person (and find he's not a great actor, but also not annoying), so am really glad to hear that this seems to be working out well for him. I really thought that abysmal "The Day The Earth Stood Still" would kill his career, so am relieved to see him back with something solid. Sounds great, can't wait to see it.
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5:45PM on 02/06/2017

I had high hopes, but Im pretty shocked to hear its ACTUALLY GOOD!

Can't wait to check it out Thursday night. Now, I just need to keep my expectations in check so I don't get let down from setting the bar too high.
Can't wait to check it out Thursday night. Now, I just need to keep my expectations in check so I don't get let down from setting the bar too high.
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5:15PM on 02/06/2017
Can't wait; Baba Yaga is back!
Can't wait; Baba Yaga is back!
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4:54PM on 02/06/2017
YESSSSS!!! I CAN'T FUCKING WAIT!!!
YESSSSS!!! I CAN'T FUCKING WAIT!!!
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