Keanu Reeves is back in 'John Wick: Chapter 2,' which gives fans of the original film everything they could ask for and more. Like other sequels this week, 'Fifty Shades Darker' and 'The Lego Batman Movie,' 'John Wick 2' is bigger and in some ways better in a way that makes it as good if not better than the original. If you like shoot ‘em up action movies or enjoyed the first film, then you will not be disappointed.
The sequel’s opening sequence wraps up the storyline from the first film and seemingly sends John Wick back into a life of retirement from being a hit man. Soon enough, an old acquaintance comes calling and asks for Wick to honor a blood oath they once made by doing one more kill for him. As Wick puts his life on the line to fulfill the debt, he is pulled further into the life he tried to get away from and is forced to defend himself when a contract is put on his head.
As I’ve mentioned, this film is among a trio of new release sequels that all seem to push the limits in their respective genres to create a new film that rivals the original. In the case of 'John Wick 2,' the film dives further into the underground criminal world of assassins that consumes the title character, offers more interaction with its supporting characters, and ultimately delivers even more extreme action and violence to make a quality sequel.
More so than the first film, this version offers up a solid cast to accompany Reeves. The actor Common returns as a worthy adversary to John Wick, among others like John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick and Ian McShane. Ruby Rose, Riccardo Scamarcio, Peter Stormore and Laurence Fishburne balance out the new supporting cast and add much value to the film.
I recently had a conversation with someone about what kind of actor Keanu Reeves is, and we concurred that while he takes a decently bad wrap from many people, he is truly perfect for a film like this. When I think Keanu Reeves, I think 'The Matrix' or 'Speed,' and 'John Wick' is an above average action film that’s perfect for today’s environment.
While we’re still early in the year, this week appears to be the biggest movie week we’ve had so far. There might not be a top of the year film that stands out, but between 'John Wick 2,' 'Fifty Shades Darker' and 'The Lego Batman Movie,' there’s something out there for everyone. I have a feeling all three of these new releases will have a decent turnout.
“John Wick 2” further proves that a sequel doesn’t always have to be less than the original and can, in fact, be as good or better. Keanu Reeves returns for an all-out shoot ‘em up action fest that fans will love, and it’s my hope that this won’t be the last time we see Wick on screen. Perhaps a third film or some sort of action team-up film with another popular character could be in the works. Check out this film or one of the other popular movies out this week.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
'John Wick 2' is rated R for strong violence throughout, some language and brief nudity. Running time is 2 hours and 2 minutes.
Hayden Pittman is a special contributor to WFAA.com and a freelance writer, photographer/videographer, and filmmaker in Dallas, TX. You can find more of his work on Selig Film News. He is a film, TV, and sports enthusiast, and when he is not reviewing movies, Hayden works in film production. Don't like what he has to say? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at @HPMoviePitt. Enjoy the movies!