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Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad, Derek Kolstad (based on characters created by)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane
Review by Gilbert Seah
The second in the series of John Wick films is in fact a continuation of the first JOHN WICK film, with the same director and star Keanu Reeves as the hit-man John Wick.
When the first film was left, Wick’s prized Mustang got stolen and his dog killed by the son of a Russian mobster. In an extended car chase and fight sequence when CHAPTER 2 begins, the audience sees the mobster grunt in disbelief to see his shop and all his men, one after another, demolished by Wick as he comes hunting for his car. The comedy is black and funny enough with sufficient violent action fight choreography to satisfy the action fans. Director Chad Stahelski knows how to stage fights, him being Reeves’ stunt double in THE MATRIX films.
CHAPTER TWO runs at full-throttle for over two hours with a minimum plot The premise involves legendary hit-man John Wick forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Though the story obviously is inconsequential, one would have expected the filmmakers to put in a bit more effort into the story.
Keanu Reeves makes the perfect anti-hero John Wick, shown with face bruises more than half the time. It is worthy of his character in BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE that brought him to fame. CHAPTER TWO sees more well-known actors lending a hand to make the film more exciting. COMMON plays Cassian, the head of security of a female crime boss who gives Wick a good fight for his money. Laurence Fishburne plays The Bowery King, a ruthless crime boss and Italian star Riccardo Scamarcio plays Santino, an assassin while Ian McShane reposes his role as the head of hotel, where no killings re tolerated.
The first JOHN WICK film had lots of fresh ideas whereas CHAPTER TWO rides on the first success, adding no new inventive surprises. In the first the hotel where truce must be obeyed is again reprised with Wick and the security played by Common forced to have a drink there. In the first film, there is a very sexy fight between a lady assassin in black and Wick. In CHAPTER TWO, there is a fight between Wick and a girl, this time in white, Ares (Ruby Ros) but the fight scene can nowhere be even described as sexy. Rose looks incredibly unsexy, when she dies with her huge eyes bulging. CHAPTER TWO also contains lots of repetitions. The joke of Wick and the security head fighting and rolling down the steps is repeated not once, but twice in the same sequence. Wick’s affinity to his dog, a black pitbull is also repeatedly drummed into the audience’s heads.
JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 has lost its spark. Running at a length of over 2 hours does not help matters either. The case of more and louder in this sequel leads to boredom and a headache.
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