I liked the original John Wick; I actually wrote about it before I even watched it a second time. And here I am again, writing about the latest of what should become a long-running series for Keanu Reeves’ hitman done wrong. After only one viewing, it has my stamp of approval. Check out the trailer and then more after the jump:
Truth be told, the second time’s the charm for John Wick: Chapter 2. Returning director Chad Stahelski and returning writer Derek Kolstad team up to turn up the intensity while more fully fleshing out the underworld in which Wick and his fellow bad guys live and die.
So what was so good about Chapter 2? Basically, it was more… more of the stuff that made the original so enjoyable:
- Even more gunplay and car stunts, but as before, Stahelski and his team worked hard to at least make the shootouts somewhat realistic. Yes, Wick rarely missed his targets, but he still had to deal with constantly reloading or stealing guns from his opponents.
- The assassin underworld is shown much larger than before, with “Continental” hotels in other countries, more vendors and services that cater to killers, and a governance structure made up of old established crime families, somewhat reminiscent of the storyline in the award-winning “100 Bullets” comics.
- Great supporting characters to keep the plot boiling, while letting Wick be Wick, the man of so few words.
Finally, and this truly is the best part, the motive for pushing this from a one-hit wonder to a trilogy or even more is not solely based on revenge. The first movie was “Wick sad, now Wick mad!!” (yes, two exclamation points), but this movie’s arc sees another emotion added… and I won’t spoil it for you by elaborating further.
Yes, John Wick: Chapter 2 is a good action movie, a worthy follow-up that even exceeds the original strongly sets up what should be a most interesting Chapter 3.
So, is Stahelski a visionary director? This is only his second film, so it’s still too early to tell, but… he’s certainly heading in the right direction.