Starring: Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Peter Serafinowicz.
I’m not a massive fan of brainless action flicks, as far as films go they are pretty much a turn off for me, unless they are pretty damn exceptional, the original John Wick was one of those films. What do you do when bringing a sequel to a popular action flick to the cinema once more? Why, go bigger of course.
Picking up shortly after the event of the first film, after retrieving his prized car from the hands of the Russian mafia, Wick calls a truce and declares himself officially retired. Unfortunately for John, he has a debt to pay.
John Wick: Chapter 2 does not deviate too far from the formula of the original film, exquisitely choreographed gunfights are the order of the day once again, almost balletic in their intricacy and utterly hypnotic to watch as the bodycount swells to ludicrous numbers by the film’s close. These action set pieces, of which there are numerous, are the crowning glory of this film owing greatly to the late 80’s/early 90’s output of Hong Kong film maker John Woo but with enough flair of their own to escape being accused of outright plagiarism.
We have some of returning cast from the first John Wick in John Leguizamo, Ian McShane & Lance Reddick and of course Keanu Reeves. Reeves can never be accused of being the most charismatic of actors but his stilted, deadened delivery of Wick is perfect for the character, this is a man who is cold as ice and dead inside, emotionless in the ruthless efficiency of his actions, Reeves rules in this role yet again, cementing himself in the annals of great action movie characters. This film reunite Reeves with his Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne in an all to brief cameo with hopefully an opening for him to return for another outing. I was also pleased to see a brief cameo from British comedic genius Peter Serafinowicz as a Sommelier of firearms, also a role that would be nice to see return as his role here was all too brief.
John Wick: Chapter 2 does what all truly great sequels should, deliver what you loved about the original film but also expand on it and give you more bang for your buck and that is exactly what this film does. Left open for the possibility of another film, perhaps the closing piece of a trilogy which I think would suit this story perfectly without the character outstaying it’s welcome. For now though, we have two perfect action films and if you haven’t checked out either, now is a darn good time to start.