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Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter Two

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John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns in the sequel to 2014’s modest box-office hit. (Source: IMDb)

This movie is right! John Wick is not very good at retiring.

2014’s John Wick is one of the best action films so far this decade. However, it’s a shame a lot of people didn’t see it in theaters. Stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski sits in the director’s chair to give a stylish portrayal of the criminal underworld of New York City. With some amazing action set-pieces, badass dialogue, and a sense of humanity. And Keanu Reeves knows what he does best while in a black suit. With the movie ending on a cliffhanger, I could not be more excited for the sequel.

If any of you were upset about the dog dying in the first film, don’t worry; no dogs are harmed in John Wick: Chapter Two. I know it’s a spoiler, but I don’t care.

After that wonderful opening action scene in the warehouse, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is still grieving over his dead wife (Bridget Moynahan, in flashbacks). With a new dog living with him in his beautiful home, he’s trying to forget about the past all over again. One day, he gets a visit from Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who forces John to return to the Continental (where everybody knows their name) to perform a task of assassinating Santino’s sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini). John reluctantly accepts, and goes all the way to Rome. He slowly begins to realize that Santino, his mute bodyguard Ares (Ruby Rose), and his men are after him. Eventually, John seeks the help of Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne, having a little Matrix reunion).

John Wick: Chapter Two improves upon its predecessor with its no-BS approach to the action-thriller genre. With Stahelski back as director, he brings so much gothic style through its straightforward narrative and stunning visuals. Compared to its predecessor, there is a surprising amount of dry humor scattered throughout. In one early scene, John gives his damaged Ford Mustang to Aurelio (John Leguizamo) saying it will be ready by “Christmas…2030”.

The action sequences almost feel like a dance; the choreography is expertly handled and the tension is at an all-time high. Nothing is more awesome than seeing John shoot-‘em-up in the catacombs of Rome. In a time where cheesy horror films and over-the-top, CGI-fueled action flicks are the norm, John Wick: Chapter Two breaks that spell.

4/4

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