Gallagher Says – John Wick: Chapter 2

My main interest in the John Wick films has been to see if there is a film I like Keanu Reeves in, and I have to say I do like him in these. It probably has something to do with the character’s serious nature that compliments Keanu’s skills, or it may have to do with the action or the more limited amount of lines. Any way you look at it, these movies are good for Keanu.

Picking up very soon after the first, Keanu finishes his quest for justice and tries to again settle down. He is soon interrupted by a request for a favour, and it’s a very serious request because he had made a blood oath to the man. This drags John Wick back into his old way of life.

The task John is ordered to complete is a job of eliminating a high level member of the crime syndicate they are all affiliated with. This takes John to Rome where we are treated to more glimpses of how the crime syndicate operates.

The rest of the movie consists of betrayals and swarms of people trying to kill John Wick. A bounty ends up being placed on John’s head, and every assassin in town wants a piece of him. This leads John to a quest of trying to kill the person who placed the bounty on his head.

The film is straight to the point. It is an action film with no holds barred. In a way it is very similar to the one-man-army types of action films from the Eighties: Films like the Ramboseries or Die Hard series or anything with Arnold Schwarznegger.

The highlights of the action scenes is a hit during a live concert and the subsequent chase underground, John’s fights with Ruby Rose’s and Common’s characters, and the opening car chases. I really liked Ruby Rose as a mute bodyguard/assassin, and her character had a very distinct personality that set her apart from the rest of the faceless masses. Common was also good. His character had heart. Keanu and Common had some great fight and chase scenes together.

My favourites from the film: The world of John Wick seems very interesting, and it is fun to explore. I liked the scenes when John is preparing for the hit in Rome. The scene at the live concert was very good, and I enjoyed the moody atmosphere. Again I likes Ruby Rose and Common. Overall, the best thing about the film is probably the editing. Story wise it is well put together, and action wise it flows well.

My less enjoyed parts: The film’s Gun Fu style gets very repetitive. Most of the action scenes with multiple enemies follow a formula of John knocking a man down and pinning him with his legs while John shoot two to three of his buddies then executes him. John moves to a new room and those actions are repeated, so on and so forth. I also felt the final fights between John and each of Common’s and Ruby Rose’s characters were similar. From a technical point of view, the medium shots in many of the dialogue scenes appeared to have a soft focus which bothered me.

My recommendation: If you love action films, especially those from the eighties, this is definitely for you, and it’s a good one. If your not, I wouldn’t suggest running out to the theatre. Watch it on DVD or Blu-ray. I’d also like to mention that, without giving too much away, it does end with the beginnings of what I expect should be a franchise. This means that it is sandwiched between the first film and whatever comes next, so overall, it may not be a very satisfactory film to watch on its own.

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