Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
John Wick is back and while the movie isn’t as lean as the first, with a bit more comedic moments and fights that will make you wince, you learn to deal with the extra fat.
Trigger Warning(s): Movie Contains Person Slashing Their Wrists
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) | Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) | Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini) | Ares (Ruby Rose) | Cassian (Common) | Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) | Winston (Ian McShane)
Characters & Storyline
Just when John thinks he had peace after handling the whole Viggo situation and getting his car back, so enters Santino D’Antonio – The man who provided a way for John to retire in the first place. He calls in a favor which calls for the death of a member of the high council , his sister to be specific. John refuses, at first, which leads to Santino destroying John’s house. But with this favor being one sealed in blood, the movie isn’t simply about John getting revenge on Santino. That is a large part of it, but that can’t be done until John kills who Santino asks. Which leads to John becoming more than just recognized internationally, but wanted for dead internationally.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
. From the way it is explained, while there maybe kingdoms throughout a city, state, and what have you, the high council are the true big dogs. Whether they are the head of the Russian mob, Italian, and etc. However, until a kingdom is taken over it seems they don’t necessarily answer to the high council. Well, at least those who control a city’s Continental don’t seem to have to answer to members of the High Council.
. Expect a sequel.
They Up The Ante With The Fight & Shooting Scenes
With me just watching the first movie today, then going into the 2nd, you’d think I would get that same jaded feeling you get when you do a Netflix marathon. Well, not in this case. John is as violent as ever and with the inclusion of more knife play, and John killing a few people with a pencil, you will be pleasantly appalled by the violence in this movie.
Stronger Characters, Stronger Story, And The Addition Of Comedy
Within the first movie, Keanu Reeves was arguably the only notable actor and John Wick the only notable character. In this movie, however, the King of the New York Continental, Winston, plays a larger role and becomes notable. Also, our villain, Santino, while not the greatest, by any extent, he suffices in becoming someone to hate. However, what really matters here is Ruby Rose as Ares, taking part in one of the few times you’ll see a man and woman go toe to toe in an action movie, Common as Cassian, who has these long a drawn out fights with John, and then, to a certain point, there is Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King aka King of the Homeless. Each one leaves the kind of mark where you can tell those involved wanted to go bigger and grander for John Wick’s second outing.
John Is Given Too Much Slack and His Adversaries are Idiots
Throughout the movie, it seems John is constantly given time to reload and get into a safe position. Plus, despite him getting a slew of injuries thanks to being stabbed, bullet wounds, and getting into some real drawn out fights, after he gets patched up, like some video game character, he bounces back like almost nothing happened.
In General, There Is Too Much Fat
While I appreciate the more seasoned actors being brought in, a stronger focus on presenting a story, and how stylized the fight scenes are, at a certain point it just seems like this movie was never going to end. For with John Wick going international and being the “Boogeyman,” now we have to listen to people talk, see John prepare and go to this place for a bulletproof suit, go to this place for guns, and this other place to get information, and then he finally gets to the location where the action begins. Thus making this movie, similar to the first, feel like a video game. One which, sort of like Mafia III, there isn’t much in regards to cutting the fat and taking you straight to the action. No, we have to listen to long ass scenes from people you know are going to die. So you wonder why John is torturing you and himself by letting them go on and on.
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
While John Wick: Chapter 2 ups the ante when it comes to the action scenes and character development, unfortunately, what seemed like a franchise more about characters putting up or being shut up, loses its most appealing feature – being lean. For with Santino and his sister Gianna allowed to talk more in their scenes combined than anyone probably did in the first movie, alongside Fishburne thinking he is performing on a stage and not in an action movie, their characters act as the fat of the movie. The kind which may add flavor but lessens the look and appeal of the actual meat. Hence the Mixed label. For while the action stays top notch, unfortunately, John Wick: Chapter 2 employs the action genre’s worse kind of villains and characters – the ones who don’t know how or when to shut the hell up and get to the point.