John Wick: Chapter 2
Length: 122 minutes / 2.03 hours
As far as sequels go, I was looking forward to the second installment of the John Wick franchise, mostly because I was interested to see how it would take the genre-defying changes it made in the first film and expound upon them. While you don’t need to know much of the plot of the first movie, other than knowing John Wick (Keanu Reeves) was the best professional killer ever, and now he’s trying to live a peaceful life in retirement, one could almost wonder if the first film was even necessary. Plot-wise, John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) provides a much more interesting storyline instead of just an accidental mistake made by a stupid kid of a mob boss.
Unfortunately, while the plot is much improved, the action seems a little stale. Sure, Wick’s “dance of death” remains an impressive sight to behold, but now the camera is starting to trend back into its shaky ways. Some the action sequences were so confusing (either in the dark catacombs of Rome or a Doctor Strange-esque mirrored art exhibit) that it was hard to tell what was happening other than the steady piling up of dead bodies. In fact, while these sequences were the strength of the first film, the second film drags them out just a little too long. Just long enough to be exhausting.
And while I appreciated the scenes involving Wick’s “infrastructure” that supported his killing profession, especially when he’s gearing up for his mission, now I have more questions than answers. Judging by the number of hitmen sent after him, I have to wonder if he exists in a universe populated entirely with hitmen. At least, I found the mini The Matrix (1999) reunion entertaining, especially considering how it gave Reeves his status as a choreographed action hero.
A better plot but with almost too much action, I give John Wick: Chapter 2 4.0 stars out of 5.