If we’ve learned anything, there’s one thing you never, ever, EVER do regarding John Wick. Loan that man a vehicle. If you’ve seen either of the action-packed films starring Keanu Reeves, you should already know this. In John Wick Chapter Two vehicles get battered very early on, solidifying my stance on this essential rule. While it’s great to see the amazing stunt work and brutality surrounding the car chase sequences, the opening scenes demonstrate my only real issue with the film.
Just like in the first film, someone spends a fair amount of time explaining just how dangerous John Wick is. Even though people hear the stories and seem to be familiar with his reputation, they still pretty much all go after him, even Ares with the permanent stank-face (Ruby Rose), whom I imagine more than once in her life some guy probably told she’d be really pretty if she just smiled more. Maybe that’s why she looks so annoyed. Or is she going for sexy? Hard to say, but she seems annoyed to me.
At any rate, this guy tells one of his lackeys the brutal stories of how easily John Wick racks up the body count, and he seems very stressed because, wouldn’t you know it, they have John Wick’s car. Oh the horror! So, when John Wick arrives to get his car back, why wouldn’t they just let him take it? I mean, if you’re that scared of the guy, just let him have it.
Granted, if they had, we wouldn’t have all those amazing, well-choreographed vehicular assaults. But come on, I still struggle with that whole notion. Maybe either convey that people clearly don’t believe the legend, or act a bit more like they don’t want his wrath to rain upon them. Considering that’s my only real beef with the action-packed extravaganza and it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the film, I have to say John Wick Chapter Two is quite successful.
In fact, this installment gives fans of the first film everything they could want, a bare-bones story that propels characters to extreme acts of violence that look super awesome. There are also some fun references, if you’re paying attention. If you saw the original John Wick, you know he takes the concept of double-tap to the extreme. With multiple shots per victim, John Wick really has mastered the art of overkill (in the best way possible).
You may think I’m weird for pointing this out in a shoot ’em up film, but the locations and set designs impress me as well. As in the first film, interesting places often provide gloriously vivid backdrops for the massive amounts of shooting and battery happening. If you could pry your eyes away from the head shots for a moment, you might see equally stimulating visuals in the background. If you can’t, that’s understandable too, because the violence is so beautifully executed.
I know it would never happen, but I’d really like to see John Wick and Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) go up against each other. Nothing personal Tom, but I don’t think you’d stand a chance.
Opening in theaters this weekend, John Wick Chapter Two is a whole lot of fun.