Director: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a hitman that just wants to retire. His bosses, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) and Winston (Ian McShane) are determined to make sure he stays in the game though. After losing basically everything his life has to offer he goes back into the hitman business in order to seek vengeance for all that he has lost.
What The Film Did Well:
The best thing that this movie does is the set action pieces. It is reminiscent of action movies of the 1990s. It feels that each part of this movie is building up to another big action piece and when it gets there the payoff is well worth the wait. This helps build off what the 2014 movie, John Wick did and does extremely well and was good to see to see the build on this strength because it is why people are going to want to see this movie.
Another aspect to this movie that it does well is it builds on the character of John Wick which is what many fans and audiences want with any sequel. After seeing this sequel, people will have a better idea and greater knowledge of this character. This sequel allows us to see what drives his character and what matters most to him. In action movies like this what helps distinguish the mediocre and the good ones is the lore and what drives the main action hero to do what he does the most. John Wick is driven by revenge and wanting to defend the honor of his loved ones; even if they are not around anymore.
Aesthetically speaking this is a really pretty movie. It reminded me a lot of a 1980s type of feel to it, from the initial trailer to some of the lighting choices throughout the movie. There are points in this movie where they use some sort of subtitles and even those have a 1980s feel and adds to the quality of the movie as a whole. I love it when modern movies have an 80s and 90s retro feel and John Wick: Chapter 2 does it so well and executes to near perfection
What The Film Didn’t Do Well:
This movie takes a while to really get going and was hard to stay really invested in the movie. It starts out with a huge action sequence that was incredible and had me excited for what the rest of the movie had in store. Then it really slows down and takes about forty-five minutes to pick back up again. Because of this I really got bored and there were a couple times I thought about turning it off even. When it does start to pick up again pace wise it doesn’t stop and becomes a joy ride until the very end.
The acting in this movie was pretty damn bad. Keanu Reeves becomes so emotionally bland, at times I really did not care what would end up happening to his character of John Wick. Even though that is part of his style and is kind of bland in a lot of his movies, I wish he would put at least a pinch of emotion into his characters. Ruby Rose is also pretty fucking bad. I don’t think she even said one line and it was noticeable that she does not have much acting range. This is the second movie, xXx being the other where she’s been pretty bad as a supporting character.
Another part where John Wick: Chapter 2 falters is with character development. Although, there is an expansion of John Wick in this movie there is no real development of him as a character. I feel no emotional investment towards John Wick, which again is something I want to see in every main character even if it is an action movie; where the character development may not warrant the most layered and complex characters.
I did not love this movie, and I went into hoping that I was going to. Overall John Wick: Chapter 2 gets a 7.0/10. I think it was partly over hyped and overrated because it came out in a bad movie month, February. It was going up against movies like The Great Wall and A Cure For Well and because of weak competition, audiences made this movie seem a lot better than it actually was.