Trying to direct a sequel based on an action movie is sometimes a tough thing to get around to in Hollywood especially when your first movie was good. You’re either great like “The Bourne Ultimatum” or “The Raid 2”. Or you could end up being really terrible like “Taken 2” or “Speed 2”. However, if you the right cast and crew to pull this over, then that’s a golden ticket right there. And yes, I’m thinkin’ he’s back!
The first “John Wick” back in 2014, was a huge surprise. Because not a lot of people really knew what this was until a month ago before it came out. And it turned out to be one of the slickest action movies ever made, it gave Keanu Reeves a great role, fantastic action, and a promising look to start a brand new franchise with “John Wick Chapter 2” a.k.a. “Keanu Reeves Shots Bad Guys in the Head.”
Without getting too deep into the plot, all I’ll say is that this takes place almost immediately after the original and John Wick (Reeves) is returning to the criminal underworld of assassins. And violence and mayhem ensue.
I was on board with the sequel because I love the first one so much and it has to be better than most of the recent action sequels. Plus, I was wonder what else they can take from this world and try to expand it a little more. And they did.
Once again, Reeves puts out all his effort into this character. He does a great job committing to his role as he does almost all of his stunts. At 52-years-old, he’s still an awesome action star. For someone who thought he was going to be in lame movies for the rest of his life, he owns the role of John Wick. Even when there’s cheesy dialogue, Reeves is just the perfect to deliver it in a serious way. There will be future discussions on Wick becoming one of the best movie heroes of all time.
Chad Stahelski went solo directing the second installment as his co-director David Leitch didn’t come on this one as he’s going on to direct “Deadpool 2.” But Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad just knows the type of action we needed. This is a beautifully shot movie that didn’t need to rely on shaky-cam and focuses on what’s happening between the characters fighting.
Just like the first movie, the action set pieces were spectacular. This was everything that I was hoping for. The first sequence feels like you’re drinking Red Bull. Still a little bit unbelievable that Wick has perfect accurate shots especially headshots, which there are a lot of them, but I let that slide whenever it happens because it’s just cool. The stunt work is on its high point as the fight choreography was absolutely outstanding. Some of the best scenes involve Reeves and Common fighting or shooting at one another. And the setting of the climax was very unique and it just shows the strengths of one-upping the previous film.
Also, it’s great to see Laurence Fishburne and Reeves on screen together again since “The Matrix Revolutions.”
What didn’t make this as great as the first movie were a few issues that occurred: I didn’t get the motivation on why Wick is coming out of retirement. In the first movie, it was pretty simple on why he’s out for revenge. But for some reason, I couldn’t understand why and it sort of felt a little forced, to be honest. There’s more down time in this as this explore the organization more and it kind of dragged on in the first half of the film.
This is what action sequels should do. Take effort into exploring deeper into the mythology of our hero and trying not to become over-the-top with the action and making it cliché.
I do prefer the original movie because of how unexpectedly great it was. But this is definitely worth checking out if you’re a hardcore action fan or just somebody who loves Reeves. And this sets up hopefully the third movie perfectly. Just a really good watch overall.
“John Wick Chapter 2” isn’t as great as its surprised predecessor, but this is still a fun and entertaining action sequel.