John Wick: Chapter 2 – Film Review
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Laurence Fishburne, Common, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Ruby Rose
Director: Chad Stahelski
Synopsis: John Wick now seeks to retire from the assassin lifestyle. However, after taking what he hopes to be one last mission, it places a rather large bounty on his head.
Review: There is just something about Keanu Reeves as an action star that just ticks all the right boxes. You look at his portfolio with the likes of Speed and The Matrix immediately jump to mind. Perhaps more recently though, was his reinvigorating turn as the hitman you dare not cross with, John Wick. Managing to be something more than just your stereotypical hitman being a badass, the first film was a breath of fresh air into a genre that was rapidly becoming a bit stale, and so it was no surprise to see Keanu suit up as the Bogeyman (as he’s affectionately known) once again.
This time, thankfully for all the animal lovers out there. no one is after his pets. Instead John plans to retire, but a debt he owes to a former associate D’Antonio (Scarmacio) drags him back into the assassin underworld once more. Things go even further awry for John when he find out that a large bounty has been put on his head, which means John must go after those who have got him in this sticky situation while trying to not get killed from the swarms that are now hot on his trail. For a while things look as though maybe going down a similar path that the sequel walked. Though soon enough there are bullets flying and people dying, the plot manages to keep things fresh and moving along at an energising pace.
With former stuntman Stahelski returning to direct, this time sans David Leitch, the action is once again filmed to look as elegant and extremely stylish as possible. Given that Wick is a man of few words, who prefers let bullets and fist do the talking for him, and in true sequel style, there is plenty more action. By consequence more bullets and the blood will flow, and the blood CERTAINLY flows all right with Wick’s aim always on point throughout. For those that love action films, these action scenes are just so enthralling.
As spectacular as he was in the first film, Reeves is once again in spectacular form as the eponymous hitman, it’s a role he commits to and it’s evident he’s having a blast throughout. Riccardo Scamarcio as D’Antonio gets the job done as your new sort of slimy, untrustworthy associate and Ian McShane as the suave Continental owner Winston remains as enjoyable to watch as he invariably is. And of course, the ever-great Laurence Fishburne has a small but significant role to play, bringing about a glorious Matrix reunion.
With the inner workings of this underground hitman bubble explored in more detail, it was refreshing to see the sequel not just retread the original film step by step, and try to freshen things up, as a sequel should. Though there are elements that do feel very familiar, it is hard to complain when you have an action star that commits to the role like Reeves does. Do not mess with the Bogeyman, cos he will come for you, and he WILL take you down if you piss him off.