If there ever was a great videogame movie, it’d be John Wick. Its everything a gamer would love in a movie: a paper-thin plot where you don’t have to exert your brain, a motive to kick ass and then kick ass like there’s no tomorrow; all leading to a satisfying conclusion. John Wick did just that and excelled at it. Its not everyday you get to see a man hell bent on seeking revenge coz someone killed his dog. In a day and age where audiences are slapped and saturated with a superhero movie almost every second month, the directors had also crafted an enjoyable action flick.
Sequels are always at the receiving end of biting criticism and with good reason too. Sequels, be it to a good movie, a game or a book, they try hard to up the ante, top its predecessor by doing the same shit again & again (Quote Einstein here) and fails miserably at it. There are only a handful of movie sequels which actually bested its first outing. Chapter Two of John Wick’s saga picks up exactly where the first left off and there on its another fight to the finish. Emphasis on FIGHT to the FINISH. The movie wastes no time to put you into the thick of action and boy, does it feel good to see John playing an orchestra with those guns.
Where Chapter Two wins is it knows exactly what to do to please its audience. People who loved the original will definitely feel right at home, people who wants more are obviously served more plot, more action and more characters and people who wants a great ending are also satisfied to a certain extent. Chapter Two recycles the best elements of John Wick and adds a bit more depth and a lot more action and never forgets where it belongs. While John Wick’s premise was laughably good, Chapter 2 let’s you go indepth into the organization Wick works for. It ain’t anything groundbreaking but the organizations’s rules and mechanisms are put into good use and serves for a good plot device.
Keanu Reeves had been the butt of memes and jokes for a while now. While he wasn’t always known for his acting prowess, he was always known for his style. I was a fan and I am still a fan. There are pitfalls in any actor’s career and he’s gone through hell of a lot. John Wick was a well deserved break for the guy. He’d put in a lot of effort in the role and it showed. And its no different here, Chapter 2. The supporting cast were pretty good too starting from Ian McShane as Winston, the seemingly innocent owner of the Continental hotel and Lance Reddick as the all-welcoming receptionist of the same. Ruby Rose as Ares, a mute femme fatale and the same goes for Common as Cassian both out for planting a bullet in Wick’s head. Reeves’ old ‘mentor’ returns in Chapter Two, yep, Lawrence Fishburne returns as an eccentric, semi-preaching crime lord but does the job well for his meagre screen time. My only disappointment was Santino D’Antonio as the lead antagonist, he did give Wick a hard time but the guy just didn’t cut it for me neither was he an intimidating villain.
Dan Laustsen is a name I haven’t heard much prior to Chapter Two, but he does a decent job in bringing out Rome as well as New York to life. The total standout is the score from Tyler Bates and it just blew me away. I never paid attention to the score in John Wick, but in this one, the themes are much more apt syncing perfectly with the scenes and it definitely stands out.Try listening ‘John Wick Reckoning’ and tell me you didnt love it. Chances are that if you loved the movie, you’re gonna love the score too.
If I had to discuss flaws it would be the complete disregard of the open violence that was happening on screen. I do believe the justification would be so that these are trained assassins and they can be super silent killers. Chapter Two also lacks a bit of emotion which was what visibly motivating John Wick in the first movie.
While it disheartens me to see a man running and gunning around for his life, unable to mourn for his dead wife and to get some peace, John Wick and Chapter Two has set a perfect example how to create a good old school action movie. Chapter Two’s action was fluid and less of that motion-blur nonsense. Its well choreographed and packs a punch, the gun play felt orgasmic and there were some melee sequences that made me cringe. Calling it ‘Hyper-violent’ would be an understatement coz while John Wick actually laid ground to a violent action movie, Chapter 2 takes it to whole new level and believe me it just feels badass. Its definitely not GREAT, but John Wick franchise proves that you don’t need superheroes to have an enjoyable action flick.