After pleasantly surprising everyone with “John Wick,” Keanu Reeves is once again kicking ass and raising puppies in “John Wick: Chapter 2.” In this sequel, John Wick finds himself back in the assassin business to fulfill a debt, which results in him becoming a target for assassins across the globe. The premise seems silly and simple, as most action films are, but it was executed beautifully.
“John Wick” is known for its cinematography and choreography. It received a lot of praise for its amazingly shot club scene, in which John Wick fights dozens of people in a crowded club. Thankfully, this sequel managed to live up to its predecessor with its own wild fight scene that takes place in a hall of mirrors. It was an absolute delight to watch smoothly-edited, beautifully-lit fight scenes between John Wick and the criminals he encounters. With its impressive camera tricks and great lighting, this film has turned ridiculously violent scenes into works of art.
The choreography was a beautiful work of art by itself. It’s no surprise that it was so impressive, considering that the director was a former stunt double for Reeves, and being a former stunt man likely gave the director a better eye for filming choreographed fight scenes. It was, however, surprising to see Keanu Reeves still being able to play such a badass character in his 50s.
The amount of effort he put into becoming John Wick was made obvious by the endless barrage of intense fight scenes. The film begins right away with a high-speed car chase, followed by an intense shootout and another car chase. At some point in the film, John Wick kills two people with a pencil — a pencil! — and that’s only the tip of the action-packed iceberg.
Among all of the action and the violence, Reeves has managed to bring John Wick to life. That alone makes him one of the best action stars of all time.
Despite the action, violence, and gore, there were actually some comedic moments. Oddly enough, some of the funniest moments came up when John Wick was fighting a fellow assassin named Cassian, played by the rapper-turned-actor Common. Whether it was throwing each other down several flights of stairs, crashing through hotel windows, or trying to secretly shoot each other at a train station, these two managed to bring about some of the most hilarious fight scenes.
The dialogue itself was hilarious too, although for entirely different reasons. Reeves did a great job playing a badass assassin, but many of his lines were cheesy enough to garner an eye roll. However, these silly lines still worked well in the film, especially when lightening up the mood after a blood-soaked, action-heavy fight scene.
The film did lag a bit during the more exposition-heavy scenes, but it allowed the audience to learn more about the characters and the secret world of international assassins in which they’re entangled. The first film gave the audience a taste of what this world was like, but this film delved in further into its rules and customs. They weren’t an essential part of the film, and in fact might be the cause for some of the slower scenes, but they were interesting nonetheless.
This film is not a film for everyone. It would be an understatement to call it violent and it would be a lie to say that it wasn’t cheesy and predictable. But it was fun, well-made, and perfect for those who just want to enjoy John Wick killing a lot of bad guys while neon lights flash and electronic music plays in the background.