“Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.”
The first John Wick could have so easily been a flop. From the outside you couldn’t be blamed for thinking it; another one man revenge thriller. But it was so, so, so much more. It was heart-aching, breathtaking, pulse pounding plus it had Keanu Reeves flipping guys on the floor constantly. The fantastically anticipated sequel has pulled off a rare feat too – it’s better.
Picking up pretty much where the first left off, we find John Wick (Reeves) up against some of the world’s most dangerous killers, bound by a blood contract from the vicious Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio).
First thing to mention; he has a new dog. And let out a sigh of relief, nothing happens to him. Unfortunately, Wick is put through a considerably harsher beating compared to the first. The opening sequence sees him take on an unreal amount of people, getting hit by cars, getting shot – yet of course he prevails, it’s John Wick. It’s a thrilling set up which will strap you in for a wild ride.
Chad Stahelski is back in the director’s seat, and hasn’t let the visceral edge slip. He whisks us through familiar locations, such as the Continental which sees the return of fan favourite Winston, and then over to Rome, fighting in museums and the catacombs. The script itself soon becomes tensely unpredictable, meaning this isn’t your bog standard sequel.
What makes the return of John Wick so welcome though are two things; the sly humour and the action. Scenes such as Wick going up against rival hitman Common in a busy train station, taking snap shots with silenced pistols at each other, will make you giggle. As well as deep routed cheesiness to the lore, the dark comedy that runs through the brutality gives it a sharpness unlike other action outings.
The action itself though, bloody hell. Stunningly shot by DP Dan Laustsen and flawlessly choreographed, every body flip, every head shot (there is a lot), every martial art you can identify – perfect. Utilising the agile Reeves to a new level, the filmmakers have got more creative this round. Feel yourself wince but let out a guilty, shocked chuckle as Wick shoves a pencil through a guy’s ear, or slices open a man’s lower area letting out a glorious amount of guts. Laurence Fishburne’s cameo will make millions of people happy also, showing plenty of cheeky grins cause he, like us, knows this is a Matrix reunion. This alone would have gave the film a boost, but luckily for us it has defied all expectations.
To sum it up…
John Wick is back again, and we should all pray he’ll stick around. Reeves has now made an icon out of his badass, unrelenting hitman. If only all action movies were of this calibre.
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Author: Cameron Frew