“After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.

Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: February 10, 2017

No need for this “review” to be long. I love John Wick Chapter 2 (2017). It is my favorite of the Wick franchise thus far, and it is in the pantheon for best action movies I have ever experienced.

John Wick Chapter 2 picks up right after its 2014 predecessor and does not let up once the gas pedal is pushed. The opening sequence is violent, bloody mayhem. Bodies flying everywhere and cars destroyed at every turn. Wick’s body is an indestructible temple of vengeance as he slowly reveals himself to his enemies and to the audience. The whole thing is shot like a western and a spy kung fu movie. The opening shots of the city setting the scene showing the scope of things while this tussle is going be held in a small, dank, recess of the chaos. Wick not showing his face till a dramatic two-face-esq reveal, which is mirrored on later in the movie with the darkness covering his other half.

I could go on and wage war against anyone who does not like this movie, but to be fair, there are not many detractors. John Wick Chapter 2 wonderfully expands the universe while keeping it compact at the same time. Cops are still a thing of yesteryear seeing how the only policeman we know as the audience is poor Jimmy. Everything that happens under the High Table stays under its shadow and the rest of the outside world is happy to let that be the case.

The sequence in John Wick Chapter 2 where he enters the catacombs stretching until he reenters The Continental and Santino D’Antonio is ELITE action movie stuff. The sequencing of the kills is comedically entertaining and the brutality of Wick’s dedication to violence is a spiritual experience. You get the call back with the pencil, the sumo wrestler WWE style match and the sudden revelation that a homeless man is part of an assassin organization to cap it all off.

Watching this again, there are somethings I noticed that may be over thinking, but may also be massive credit to the filmmakers.

  • The dog that Wick adopts has no name. This has to be an homage to The Man With No Name that was portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the classic westerns. Since the John Wick franchise is about the idea of the silent hero, it would make perfect sense.
  • Cassian is not dead. I stand by this because 1.) We did not see his head get blown to smithereens, and 2.) Wick offered him a choice. This is a direct callback to when The Bowery King (Lawrence Fishburne) was talking with Wick and mentioned how he gave him a choice back when he was younger. The Bowery King chose life, and I think Cassian did too.
  • I have mentioned this before but I will mention it again. The mirror sequence at the end of John Wick Chapter 2 is an homage to Enter The Dragon (1973).

John Wick Chapter 2 is awesome. Nobody can say anything otherwise in my eyes.

STANKO RATING: A (4.5/5 Stars)

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