By Guuto Dolal
John Wick: Chapter 2, directed by Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves, is the second instalment in a series about a retired assassin who can’t seem to escape his former life. The first John Wick film was one of the biggest cinematic surprises of my life and ended up being one of my favorite action movies of all time. Needless to say, I had high expectations for this sequel, and it lived up to most of them.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is another vastly entertaining movie with some unreal action sequences. Stahelski shows yet again that his experience as a stunt man has helped him forge fast paced and exciting set pieces. These action scenes are most definitely helped by Reeves doing his own stunts. It seems that not many actors are willing to perform stunt work anymore, but it really helps when you see that the same person who is playing the character is the one doing the action as well.
My favorite thing about this film, and its predecessor, is the world-building that occurs in both movies. Assassins have their own strict set of laws and unique currency, and the viewer always wants to know more about their customs. To expand things for the sequel, the film goes international. We see the same rules present, even though the characters are across the globe, begging the question of just how vast is this assassins’ world really is.
However, I do have a couple issues with the film, namely the dialogue and the motivation that drives Wick throughout. Cheesy dialogue is expected with most action movies, but I feel as if it was a bit much here. There were multiple instances where I found myself thinking “no one speaks like that,” or “I don’t buy this conversation.” Fortunately, the cheesy dialogue was almost always followed by a badass action sequence that would make me forgive whatever I had just heard.
My main problem with this film is that Wick’s motivation isn’t as convincing as in the first film. Its predecessor made the audience feel for Wick, and understand his desire for revenge, but in this film, things feel less genuine. It seems like the writers needed an excuse for Wick to be thrust back into action, and just threw together a quick idea to set the story in motion.
In spite of those complaints, I had a great time watching this film. This series has rejuvenated Reeves’ career and given him his most iconic role since Neo. Chad Stahelski proves that he knows action, and this latest project has me looking forward to his work in the future. If you enjoyed the first film, or exciting action films in general, this one is worth the price of admission. If you didn’t like the first film, you won’t find anything new here. Overall, I recommend you see John Wick: Chapter 2, as original movies like it aren’t very common nowadays.
(Featured Image: John Wick: Chapter 2, Summit Entertainment)