Blood, guns, Keanu Reeves and a f*ckin’ pencil, what more could someone want? “John Wick: Chapter 2” is the continuing story of the “John Wick” franchise. This time, Wick is called back to duty as a mysterious man from his past forces him into the life he had abandoned. And he kills people, a lot, and it’s awesome.
The first “John Wick” was one of the biggest surprises of 2014. I had many doubts of “John Wick: Chapter 2”. Action sequels sometimes don’t go over too well when the first is a huge hit and directors don’t care as much. “John Wick: Chapter 2” is a well crafted and wonderfully directed sequel that lives up, if not surpasses it’s predecessor. It’s fun, over-the-top, and a damn good time.
The best thing about this film is Chad Stahelski’s direction. The action is choreographed to where you feel every shot, every punch, and every pencil stab (not kidding about the pencil stab). Stahelski keeps the camera very close and tight, making you feel like you’re right in the action. Stahelski also uses a vibrant color palette that doesn’t feel washed out like the first film did.
Keanu Reeves delivers with an epic performances as the somewhat “ex”-assassin. Director Chad Stahelski may ask him to say some very corny dialogue but Reeves delivers it so well. Ian McShane returns in this sequel as great as ever. This is also probably Common’s best performance that I have seen. Laurence Fishburne is just Laurence Fishburne, he’s only in the film for around five minutes.
Also, the production design is so unique for an action film. Sets like the one from the mirror room fight are so crazy and unique but feel so realistic.
Now into my few negatives. After the opening action set piece the film slows down for around twenty to thirty minutes to build the story. In that twenty to thirty minutes there’s some drawn out dialogue that can get kind of annoying. Soon after the film picks itself back up though, and you can easily forget about the slower moments. Ruby Rose’s character is my only other negative. The film builds her character up to be this huge villain or threat but it doesn’t really pay off in their fight scene.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” has the exact same problems as the first, a slow start and an underwhelming final fight, but it has so many other redeeming qualities. Direction-wise it’s one of the best hardcore action films I’ve ever seen. Chad Stahelski delivers with a sequel that lives up to it’s predecessor and excels with it’s terrific action. Bring on “Chapter 3”!