February 18, 2017
John Wick: Chapter 2.
Review #906: John Wick: Chapter 2.
Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Common (Cassian), Laurence Fishburne (The Bowery King), Riccardo Scamarcio (Santino D’Antonio), Ruby Rose (Ares), John Leguizamo (Aurelio), Ian McShane (Winston), Bridget Moynahan (Helen Wick), Lance Reddick (Charon), and Thomas Sadoski (Jimmy) Directed by Chad Stahelski (#905 - John Wick)
For #32 in the Theater Saga (and the first film reviewed of a movie released in 2017), it only makes sense to the sequel to John Wick...considering I just did the first one four days ago. I had planned to do this ever since this film had come out last week, and I'm happy to say it worked out well. While this sequel may not be as gripping with emotional depth as the first film, this film certainly has enough top-notch action and fine work by the cast to make for an exceptional sequel. The film doesn't fall to the trap of trying to emulate the previous film nor try to settle itself in a familiar hole. Reeves does a fine job once again, being a capable action hero in part because he once again manages to make Wick a compelling character (who isn't merely a killing machine) again. Common and Fishburne show up around the second half of the film, but they both are entertaining in how professional they are, with the former having two great action scenes with Reeves and the latter being enjoyable to watch interact with Reeves, with pigeons included. Scamarcio is a decent villain in part due to being realistic while being capable in action scenes. Rose is also a pretty good standout, a wordless but efficient performance with good timing for her action scenes. The rest of the cast is also pretty good when the movie needs them (such as with McShane), much like how the action shines when required. It's hard to say what is the best part, but the scenes in the subway and the final fight in the art museum are pretty good highlights, with a good deal of brightness and high paced fun. Even within the blood is a bit of lightheartedness, and it's always nice to see that pitbull dog (when you own a dog, you love seeing dogs on screen a bit more) on screen. The action and story work well with each other to make for an entertaining sequel that will surely open the door for another installment of Wick that I wholeheartedly approve of.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.