A couple of years ago, we were all immersed in a truly amazing film that saw the return to form from Keanu Reeves – John Wick. Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, professional stuntmen-turned-directors, it was a surprising smash hit that catapulted Reeves straight back into the limelight.
Now, we’re excited as anything to find out he’s coming back…again. With just Chad Stahelski at the helm, Chapter 2 of the John Wick chronicles is just as brilliant.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is a continuation of the series which will eventually become a trilogy (yay!). The film finds Wick after the tremendous events of the first instalment hunting down the last loose thread – the people who have his car. Once he achieves this, he can live in peaceful retirement. Yeah right! As soon as he has settled with his brand new pup, an old familiar face comes to claim a favour. However, this sits unfavourably with Wick who, despite accepting the job, becomes embroiled in a larger and more dangerous plot. But if there is one thing the criminal underworld hasn’t learned, it’s to never mess with Wick.
Keanu Reeves is clearly in his element in this high-octane, feverish, and overall exciting flick. His stoic persona works as a hitman trying to cut loose from his criminal ways but he is sure enough able to unravel slight emotions when confronted such as rage, sorrow, and bereavement. These would be subtle shifts but feel charged against Wick’s ultimately passive personality. Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Peter Serafinowicz, and HOLY SHIT LAWRENCE FISHBURNE, all populate this, frankly, ridiculous action flick with such energy that you believe so much in this underworld of master assassins who are staunchly loyal but playing a higher arching game.
The thing that is so captivating about the John Wick anthology is that it never tries to be anything more than what it is. Its greatest statement is that it’s entertaining as fuck. It knows that all you want is to see bad guys and nameless cronies get their heads blown off in weird and beautifully bizarre ways that are inconceivable to physics but look bloody brilliant. You want to see sexy assassins have stunted but hilarious conversations in mono-syllabic ways. You want to see Keanu Reeves kitted out with a post suit, a slinky gun, and on this level, John Wick absolutely delivers – a near two hours of well choreographed fight scenes and a bloody spectacle that’ll send adrenaline coursing through your veins.
Between the dramas, the Oscar bait, and romantic movies, there is room for films that clearly don’t give two shits about impressing the Academies. All it wants to do is make sure that you are thoroughly entertained. As sweat pours down your face, your heart-racing in your throat, and a glorious grin is fixated on your face, you’ll know it’s done its job.