John Wick: Chapter 2

wickbarI lagged way behind and only saw the first John Wick a few weeks ago when it popped up on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, and like action movies, it’s a good one (definitely good enough to warrant a sequel). And that sequel is now upon us.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is faithful to the first chapter’s formula, almost to a fault. That fault is repetitiveness, in a somewhat strange way. You see, one of the things I liked about John Wick (both the first movie and the character) is that he bleeds. He makes mistakes and the bad guys capitalize. He wins in the end through sheer force of will.

The same basic formula plays out in John Wick: Chapter 2 but since it’s a sequel, everything has to be tougher for our protagonist Jonathan (note to Ian McShane: emphasizing that this hit man’s full name is “Jonathan” is weird; please stop).  The problem is the way the difficulty is ratched up. Wick is not given tougher bad guys to face. He’s just given more of them, which makes the extended fight scenes a tedious series of guys running at Wick and Wick then shooting them twice in the body and one in the head.john-wick-chapter-2-keanu-reeves-419484-jpg-r_1920_1080-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx

Or, if two guys (or more) run at him at once (a SERIOUS violation of movie bad guy etiquette) he puts one in an MMA- style hold, shoots the other(s) in the body then head, then gives a head shot to the guy he wrestled down and has probably been using as a human shield while dealing with the other(s). Keanu Reeves obviously practiced this move particularly hard and good on him for still being credible as an action hero, but a little variety would have been nice in order to continue the first movie’s realistic feel.

(Don’t even get me started on the part where Wick is specifically given a gun with limited ammo and then immediately gets a magic movie gun from the first bad guy he kills that shoots about 30 times before he has to cock it again. Or the fact that in this film every second person in Central Park is an assassin.)

There’s more good and bad, and more good than bad in John Wick: Chapter 2. But when this movie’s ending set us up for the third instalment, I immediately thought of Jason Bourne, which I seriously considered turning off on a plane. That is a bad road for John Wick to be headed down.

John Wick: Chapter 2 gets a score of six smashed-up classic Mustangs out of ten. Essentially, the opening car-smashing sequence was a metaphor, in which Wick was this movie and my goodwill toward the first movie was the car. That it was such a nice car to begin with is the most disappointing part.

 

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24 thoughts on “John Wick: Chapter 2

  1. Carrie Rubin

    I liked the first one, but this one didn’t do it for me. As you mention, there was too much repetition. I left to use the restroom, and when I came back, the same fight scene was going on! No need to ask my hubs what I missed, which is never a good sign.

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  2. Jason

    Personally, I liked this movie. Of course, it wasn’t (narrative speaking) as the first one, but it was a well-done action movie that was really fun and enjoyable. I only hope that they don’t ruin it with more sequels (I expect Chapter 3 is coming out, but I don’t want to see Chapter 6, 7, or 8).

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  4. Lacey

    I’m not a huge Keanu Reeves fan or a huge action movie fan, but maybe I’ll check out the first one on netflix with the hubs. After all, I did like the Matrix movies.

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  5. BroadBlogs

    Maybe I haven’t been paying attention but I was just thinking that I haven’t seen much of Keanu Reeves in a while. But I have to say I agree with those who cast him in “Dazed and Confused” saying he’s a terrible actor with a lot of charisma. Maybe he’s getting better?

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  6. J.

    I really liked John Wick and fancy seeing this one, too. Likely wait for it, right enough… I actually hoped they’d do a prequel. But aye, there’s only so much mileage in something like this.

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  8. sportsattitudes

    Also played catch-up and saw the original just a couple of days before this second chapter. Loved the first film because it didn’t pretend to be anything other than what was intended…a guy killing lots of people. It had humor, great pace and wicked good music. This sequel felt nothing like the first film and yet I was glad I saw it. Hope the set-up for the next chapter gets “undone” quickly after it starts because I want to see everyone back for a third go at this franchise.

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