Release Date: February 10, 2017
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common, Claudia Gerini, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Tobias Segal, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynahan, Thomas Sadoski, Erik Frandsen, David Patrick Kelly, Perry Yung, Franco Nero, Youma Diakite, Peter Serafinowicz, Luca Mosca, Midori Nakamura, Mario Donatone, Giorgio Carminati, Elli, Thaddeus Daniels
Production Company: Thunder Road Pictures, 87Eleven, Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment
You have to be pretty bad ass to shake the boots of every man, woman, and child you encounter in the streets. Never has a man been so respected and feared in the underground world of assassins. Known as “The Boogeyman,” Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, and he’s more fierce than ever. There have been countless films over the years that delved into the world of organized crime and mayhem, but this John Wick series is rewriting all the textbooks on how straight-up hardcore revenge action flicks are supposed to be. While a few aspects are over the top, it’s still an exciting adventure with gun play and knife wielding strikes that’ll make you wiggle in your seat gasping in delight at all that’s taken place.
What’s great about John Wick’s character is he’s not perfect. No matter how much training he’s had, or resources at his disposal, he still has room to sharpen his skills. By creating a character this way it left room for John to grow. He’s known as, “The man, the myth, the legend,” but still hasn’t reached peak optimal performance. He’s a man driven off a passion no one else can relate to. It’s like he has an unknown connection to a form of energy the rest of the world is unaware of. Seeing him in action, you can’t help but to think about what got him to this point. What were the series of events that brought him down this path? It’s a mystery and a question you may or may not want answered, but either way you’re still satisfied.
Now everyone is here to see the action, and it comes in hard from all directions in many different forms. It’s all so precise and calculated, but also sloppy at some moments too. That’s what makes it so great. Of course, at the beginning of a mission, the assailant has all of his energy. Towards the middle and end, said person should be exhausted, and it shows here. The hand to hand, knife to knife, bouts were probably my favorite. They were all well executed with such finesse and focus that it can only be admired. The gun play mixed in with physical combat, was like that of a dance flowing smoothly like water from one antagonist to another. There’s a fair share of action from all sides, from big guns to small, that will wet anyone’s appetite.
The best part by far is the world these men and women live it. It goes so deep that it seems even if you had a lifetime you wouldn’t be able to explore it all. The film has its own sets of rules that it sticks by and all assassins acknowledge, and you respect it just as much as they do. They take this stuff seriously, and even John Wick doesn’t bend the rules, or does he? This underground world is so intriguing, and while the film gives you everything you want, you can’t help but want to know more. The inception of the “continental,” which is a safe haven establishment with branches around the world, deserves its own origin story. There’s so much to take on in this world, and it could entertain you for years to come.
As we all know, a majority of films have their shortfalls, and this one is no different. It’s understood that John Wick is a killing machine, but I won’t buy him getting hit by cars multiple times and being able to brush it off. As skilled as he is, there were a few missed opportunities that were overlooked which could’ve led to his death. They don’t stand out too much, but they are there. Also, in this world of assassins I couldn’t help but to wonder why some individuals couldn’t do things themselves. They had all the tools necessary. So it’s not clear why they weren’t used.
If you’re a fan of action and adventure you already know this film is for you. If you’re not into that kind of stuff this film is still for you. While there are some smoke and mirrors you must shift through, the respect level that the cast has for this lifestyle is inspiring. I wondered what life would be like today if society actually followed rules the way it was here. John Wick: Chapter 2 is the action film that action junkies need. Director Chad Stahelski knows his stunts, directed the first film, and did a phenomenal job with the second. It would be disappointing if he didn’t come back for the third.