Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mini-Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

I'm hoping to get more reviews out by doing this mini-review format. If I want to go into actual depth on this movie I'll do so via multi-vlog reviews or other posts.

In this review of John Wick: Chapter 2 there will be spoilers. So if you haven't seen the movie stop reading now and go see it before continuing.
Adds to the Series

A problem with some movies is that the sequel feels like a cash in rather than an actual sequel. Taken, starring Liam Neeson, was an awesome movie but the sequel was unneeded. I was worried that John Wick: Chapter 2 would suffer the same fate. That it would be an unneeded sequel.

Luckily that wasn't the case.
John Wick continues to try and get out of the whole killing business. This time he is roped into killing again through a debt he owes a man. Thankfully this connects to the first one with the reason John Wick is in this man's debt.

John Wick didn't just leave 'the business' all by himself, but had help. The only reason the man ends up asking for a favor in John Wick: Chapter 2 is because of the events of the first film.

So this new revelation adds to the lore of the series and isn't just there for the sake of a sequel.
Action Scenes are Well Done

When you go into a movie like John Wick: Chapter 2, you're looking for good action scenes. There can be a story but that isn't as important. You don't go into movies like these and spend a long time talking about the meaning of life. You go into these movies wanting to revel in the action.
Like the first John Wick movie, the sequel keeps up the action. Not only is the action fun to look at, you can actually see what's going on. There is no excessive cuts so you can fully focus on what's going on. You can see the action clearly.

Wonderfully done.
The movie opens with a thrilling fight scene. The opening fight scene was a great appetizer for the rest of the film. There were punches thrown, guns fired, and cars slammed into people. It was amazing and made me feel that this movie was going to be good.

That's something an opening scene of any kind needs to have.

Like the first film, John Wick kicks serious butt in various ways. There is even one scene where he kills two men with a pencil. A pencil!

Morpheus is back! Yes! Yes!

Okay, so the character of Morpheus isn't back but John Wick: Chapter 2 does reunite Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. I was unaware of this cameo before seeing the film and it was a more than happy surprise.

Like the first John Wick movie, there is a reference to Reeves' career in this scene. It is hard to listen to the lines of dialogue Fishburne says without drawing a comparison to The Matrix trilogy. Yes, folks, there was more than one movie in the series. No amount of denial will change that.

Anyways...the lines of dialogue I am referring to also work well within John Wick: Chapter 2 without you having to have seen The Matrix or its sequels. And if you haven't at least seen the first Matrix movie...what have you been doing with your life?

Suffice it to say that the reference to the Matrix trilogy wouldn't have worked in this film if it didn't connect to this film's plot.
It turns out that in the past John Wick spared the life of Bowery King (played by Laurence Fishburne). The story shows that while Wick can be ruthless, he does give certain people the chance of living.

Well...the choice is basically 'you can kill me and die or spare me and live'. So it's not exactly a warm kind of hug choice.
Rating: 4/5

Additional Notes:
*If you are unsure about seeing the film, see the first one beforehand
*First movie was a tough act to follow
*Fangirled so much when Laurence Fishburne showed up on screen
*Ending leaves room for a sequel
*Hopefully in sequel his car gets fixed

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