The last action hero?
John Wick 2 is the sequel to the cult classic John Wick. It continues the tradition of action hero serials but with more of a modern flair. The first one was refreshingly enjoyable since it was a simple story with excellent fighting and ballistics choreography. Also Keanu Reeves is always a likeable presence on screen when the script doesn’t ask him to do much. The motivation of John Wicks character also resonated with a lot of people…his dog was killed and his car stolen. A lot of people would wreak havoc if dealt with those circumstances. Things get a little murkier with John Wick 2.
This next chapter picks up where the first movie left off, with John Wick trying to find his car. My first thought was that it would be cool to have the whole movie be about that but also kind of silly. The car plot doesn’t last too long however. This movie goes on to expand upon the narrative and culture of the underground network of hit men that John Wick is or used to be a part of. This is interesting although sometimes it plays out a little slow. John Wick as we know is retired but through uncontrollable circumstances is forced to dive back into the labyrinth of killers that follow a professional code. They are still killers nonetheless however. Wick is reluctant but has no choice but to complete his next job. This leads to a domino effect which essentially plays out for the rest of the movie where John Wick is forced to kill one foe after another in order to not die himself. As mentioned before, the motivations in this movie are a little murkier than my dog was killed but still plausible enough.
No one expects a complex storyline from this franchise, but the story seemed to work in this one even though it may not be as impactful as the first obviously. It was enjoyable getting to know more about this network that John Wick is a part of. There are some questionable actions by some characters and also some more questions that may pop up but for the most part I seemed to get what was going on. The action scenes and stunt work are top notch. It’s good to see minimal use of jump cuts. Keanu Reeves is well Keanu in this one. We don’t get to hear him say “Whoa” but he has plenty of other decent one liners that are enjoyable. There is also a cool little reunion with him and Laurence Fishborne for you Matrix fans. John Wick also as a worthy adversary in this one played by Common. Their back and forth in the movie was very enjoyable.
John Wick fans will not be disappointed with this sequel. Also any fan of action movies will not be disappointed as well. It’s good to see Keanu get top billing in a movie that is actually decent. He makes John Wick enjoyable because of his awkwardness and aloofness. It seems like we are looking at a trilogy with this one which is totally fine. This is a fun movie to help pass the time in February. Here’s to looking forward to John Wick 3.