Now this is a sequel. 2 John 2 Wick. The Continental Strikes Back. This is how you fucking do it.
John Wick: Chapter 2 ups the ante by doing a full swan dive into the underground world of assassins that the first John Wick only dipped its toe in. But it does so without sacrificing the streamlined, silent nature of the original. More of what we like, and a worthy expansion of what was only hinted at in the first.
Also, the sets in this are incredible! I haven’t been this enamored with set design in a pure action movie, maybe ever. And they make for some truly original and unique action sequences.
And although this is slightly more dense on plot, requiring perhaps a few lengthier quiet moments in the middle of the film, those moments are absolutely stunning. Extremely well executed and beautiful, the quiet moments make the explosiveness of the action in this that much more exciting. And the action is truly explosive – I’ve never seen an action movie where bad guys get dispersed before they even enter the frame, making it feel like a truly living, breathing moment of action. And Keanu’s true talent lies in his ability to make it look like he’s reacting to everything in the moment, rather than executing well-planned choreography.
I also really enjoyed all the artwork that was used to highlight certain plot devices by being prominently featured in the background of pivotal scenes. It’s all really on-the-nose, but that works perfectly in this world.
One final note – I had a chatty group of teens behind me for this one, that thankfully didn’t ruin the movie as it is mostly silent, and when people talk it’s almost always subtitled (John Wick even knows sign language!). But in one moment of brilliance, one of the guys behind me observed “Oh and they broke his phone? Now he’s got ANOTHER THING to be mad about!”
John Wick: Chapter 2 scored: ★★★★☆