When I watched the first John Wick I went into it knowing not a great deal about it apart from it had Keanu Reeves in it and I was quite intrigued to see what he was up to, as I hadn’t seen him in many recent films prior to this. After watching it, it became one of the best films I have seen in recent years. They managed to take the basic premise of a revenge action film and use it as a catalyst to create a fresh new story and intriguing world, whilst also showcasing brilliant cinematography, stunt co-ordination and character design. This is something that has continued on throughout Chapter 2.
The film picks off right where the first left off with the ‘I’m getting to old for this sh*t’ premise, John Wick is just trying to get his car back and be left alone to retire, which all seems to be going to plan for the first 30 minutes or so, but of course something ends up sucking him back into his assassin lifestyle and puts his retirement on hold. The opening sequences of the film manage to seamlessly grab the viewers attention from the get go, with brilliant action sequences and a well put together dialogue lead by the brilliant Peter Stormare, which works brilliantly to give a brief catch up of the first film and some background information in a subtle humorous way.
Following this, the high quality story telling continues with the film, again, following a bit of a revenge plot premise, but using that as a basis to delve deeper into the intriguing John Wick World of an underground assassin society which was touched upon in the first film. A suave, high class society of professional assassins which is intricately and smartly put together in such a way that it finds the perfect balance between realism, fantasy and logic, answering pretty much all the little details that pernickety, over critical film nerds will try nit picking away at.
This world, which is already thoroughly intriguing, is made even more intriguing and interesting by the characters who are part of it, every character seems to have some sort of history with one another which is barely touched upon and left to the viewers imagination, creating great dynamics between characters whilst working to keep an air of mystery and ambiguity over the world and its history. Being introduced to these additional characters and antagonists, such as Ares (Ruby Rose) and Cassian (Common), also works to ramp up the intensity of the action sequences, as John Wick is now pitted against numerous people of the same calibre of skill as himself, on top of the endless supply of disposable henchman Wick headshots his way through.
All in all, there is only one small thing I thought to be at fault in this film and that was Laurence Fishburne‘s performance, which was quite over acted and out of place alongside the subtle, understated performances of the other lead roles. However, tis but one finicky thing which doesn’t take away from the quality of the film, a quality I could keep writing about for days but I’ll try sum it up in a nutshell; everything is filmed brilliantly in beautiful locations, the action choreography is intense, thoughtfully planned and seamlessly pulled off, the story is perfectly paced and manages to follow on perfectly from the first film with nothing feeling repetitive and the dialogue and character dynamics are wonderfully designed with subtle comedy and wit cleverly woven into the more serious aspects of the film.
Hats off to the Directors Chad Stahelski & David Leitch, Keanu Reeves and everyone else involved for creating an absolute masterpiece of a film series. I would recommend anyone who is a fan of John Wick to check out Screen Junkies Honest Reactions video with Stahelski & Leitch reacting to the John Wick Honest Trailer, they give a great insight into the ideas and concepts behind some of the filming and some of the lore behind the John Wick world whilst doing some goofing on it all.
Just as Gubby as the first, if not Gubbier.