John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Director: Chad Stahelski
Written by: Derek Kolstad
Keanu Reeves (John Wick)
Riccardo Scamarcio (Santino D’Antonio)
Ian McShane (Winston)
Ruby Rose (Ares)
Claudia Gerini (Gianna D’Antonio)
Lance Reddick (Charon)
Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King)
John Wick’s Mustang is missing and he wants it back. After murderously retrieving it he is backed into a corner with a must-honour debt to Italian mobster Santino D’Antonio and thus finds himself in Italy. Despite wanting to retire and live out his life in seclusion his former profession and his reputation drag him back into the violent world of cross and double-cross that underpins the top-most criminal society in the world.
John Wick was a success, albeit violent and silly, due to a slightly different take on the tried and trusted bestest hitman in the world that everyone knows about, surely the worst thing for that job but that’s another conversation and the perfect casting of Keanu Reeves in the role. Therefore it really hurts me to say but all of the above reasons for the first film being so good seem to be the same reasons for the ‘Chapter 2′ being so bad.
You can only assume it’s the direction that does this. Chad Stahelski appears to have been the director this film on his own, rather than in tandem with another as in the first film, he is a top stunt coordinator and this film shows exactly that.
What we have here appears to be a film made for the shoot-’em-up, beat-em-up video game generation. People who want no character development, no real peril, no proper story, just stunts, action, death, blood, guns and disposable henchmen over and over again until the end credits roll.
Just because John Wick is visceral, kinetic and action orientated it doesn’t mean if you stuff all of that into the running time with little attention paid to anything else you’ll get entertainment guaranteed.
The plot holes and idiotic logic in this film were so large and prominent they could be seen from the surface of the moon without a telescope and then throw into the mix the unrealistic bullet-proof suit and an armoury the average nation would be envious of and you have just got rid of a strong point of the first film. Fighting, shooting and killing people is difficult and it hurts. In this film it doesn’t. In fact, it’s a bit like a hard work out at the gym, leaves you feeling tired, makes your legs ache but you get over it fairly quickly. For the number of people John Wick kills in Chapter 2 the criminal world should have run out of heavies to hire by now. Who hires them, why do they work for any of these mobs, why are they so useless? Questions asked by Austin Powers that are re-enforced by John Wick Chapter 2 without even blushing.
John Wick in the first film was an ‘impossible’ hitman but he got hurt and had a motive. In this film he is a super-human and Reeves, so good in the first film, is on coasting mode throughout most of it. He is ably backed by the ever-reliable Ian McShane and ‘war-horse’ like Lance Riddick and Laurence Fishburne but even their experience and talent can’t throw a lifeline to the utter tosh that is up on the screen.
This film is mind-numbing, insulting to the intelligence, violent for violence sake and has a ‘hero’ who is impossible to best, beat or even hurt, you certainly will not kill him.
Worst of all, it is boring.