As always, I will do my best not to reveal any major spoilers, but be warned, specifics of the movie ahead……
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
This movie was seen in standard (non 3-D) and standard (non DBOX seats).
In John Wick: Chapter 2 we see Keanu Reeves reprise the lead role of un-retired master assassin John Wick re-un-retiring to sow his vengeance upon the organized crime members who have wronged him. Also reprising their roles from the original are Ian McShane as Winston, Lance Reddick as Charon and John Leguizamo as Aurelio.
In the sequel we’re also treated to Reeves re-uniting with his Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne, although Fishburne’s character did not add a ton to the story. (Maybe Reeves just wanted to show how much better he has aged compared to his old Matrix buddy?)
If you’ve seen the first John Wick movie, you have an idea of what to expect with the sequel: Lots of gunfire, fast paced action sequences and maybe, if you pay close attention, some plot. Let me say, you will not be disappointed.
The film opens with an intense action sequence that transitions nicely from car chase to hand-to-hand fighting with a bit of hand-to-car fighting mixed in. What jumped out to me, and the dude with the bad body odor sitting in front of me, was the sound editing. The engine revving, tire squealing, crashes, gunshots, kicks and so forth were loud but crystal clear. The dialogue could also be clearly understood throughout the movie, which is actually pretty rare. (Quick daddy hack: subtitles are excellent when trying to watch a DVD with an angry infant)
What I loved most about the movie were the combat sequences. All the gun battles and hand-to-hand combat sequences were filmed and played back in real time. We have all seen the video circling social media over the past year of Keanu Reeves running the 3-gun course to near perfection. If not, here it is:
I love when studios credit the audience with this level of intelligence. The John Woo style slow motion shoot outs are fun from time to time, but I much more appreciate the real speed of this Jason Bournesque speed.
The casting was also very well handled. The closest to a three dimensional character would be probably be Winston or Charon. The rest of the characters were pretty straight forward, which is fine. Ruby Rose (who can also be seen in “XXX: Return of Xander Cage) puts in a strong performance as Ares and Common has convincing on screen chemistry with Reeves.
Overall, John Wick: Chapter 2 delivered a very entertaining shoot’em up movie and sets the franchise up very well for a third installment.
I rate this 4 out of 5 or “Babysitter Worthy” and a “Near Crimson” on the Geeky Daddy Sidekick Scale (very not kid friendly).