Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'John Wick: Chapter 2' Is an Awesome Sequel

John Wick: Chapter 2 is the sequel to 2014’s most surprising action gem.  This time around, super-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is just beginning to re-settle down to a life of retirement, when he’s once again forced out of it by Italian mob boss Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio).  Soon, he finds himself reluctantly immersing once more into the secret, colorful criminal underworld he intends to leave behind, treading on another path of revenge while the world’s most dangerous killers are on his heels.

There are two things I expected from a John Wick sequel: 1.) more of John Wick being a total badass and leaving a hefty body count in his wake via tons of exhilarating actions sequences; and 2.) more exploration of its intriguing criminal realm that secretly exists in our world.  And Chapter 2 wonderfully delivers.
The fight scenes are so much fun.  However, I feel that, in general, they aren’t as polished as those in the last movie.  There are brief moments where I think that the “choreographed” nature appears obvious.  Nevertheless, the display of gun-fu is still gratifyingly excellent.  Also, in terms of quantity, it seems it has a lot more fantastic action scenes.

As for its worldbuilding and lore, it does a terrific job in expanding them.  New details – rules, systems, economy, etc. – about the underground are shown, increasing its overall mystique. Honestly, for me, it’s more fascinating and imagination-inciting than the secret wizarding world in the Harry Potter universe.
The plot is thrilling, constructed in such a way that efficiently brings those two main expectations I mentioned earlier about.  It’s just as good as the first one.  It’s only weaker in terms of character arc, as John Wick is already an established character at its start.  In comparison, the narrative execution of the first movie in peeling off the character’s layers of mystery was done so perfectly.  Chapter 2 does, however, have a stronger ending than its predecessor, as it raises the stakes of the next movie brilliantly by establishing a new, exciting status quo for our hero.

As far as being an action movie goes, John Wick: Chapter 2 is awesome.  Chapter 3 can’t come soon enough!

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