I can assure you that the stories you hear about John Wick, if nothing else, have been watered down.
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane
Director: Chad Stahelski
Synopsis: The revenge sorted, and car retrieved, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is ready to settle back into retired life. Unfortunately, other people aren’t prepared to let him do whatever he wants and that dabble back in the industry is enough for them to demand he stays in and repays a favour from long ago. Unable to find a way out of this, Wick reluctantly takes the job and the knowledge that the work may well be who he is and retirement was only a fleeting and unrealistic dream.
Opinion: This was once again a re-watch so lets quickly reminisce on my first every viewing. Thankfully I was no longer living under a rock and was fully aware that the sequel was coming to cinemas and was ridiculously excited for it but also horribly nervous. I mean the first movie had been so good and in all my years of movie watching only a handful of sequels have been able to stand up to the quality of the first so naturally I was expecting the second to be fun and all but not anywhere near as strong. So, let me tell you it was a mind blowing experience to have the second film almost match the first in content and quality.
Flash forward to now and while I’ve not seen it as many times as the first it’s by no means a second watch or even a third and yet it still has my heart racing and adrenaline pumping and all of the yes! so good! moments that I experienced the first time around. Even the story, which was at risk of being a same as the first tired old revenge killing, turned out to be something new and complex and while yes similar in ways so vastly different in others. You learn more about this world John Wick is part of and the fact that it doesn’t just stop at New York, it’s an international club with members everywhere. New characters, new plot twists and one constant “Boogeyman” in the middle doing what he does best.
But now for my two favourite aspects of these films, the soundtrack and the fight sequences. Oh man, this film definitely doesn’t disappoint in either department. Every fight, every piece of action is so finely crafted, staged, executed and fascinatingly beautiful to watch. Yes it looks like a shoot out chaos in the moment but it never once feels messy or unprofessional it feel like you’re there watching trained killers do their thing and the technique behind every moment is kind of magical in a way to keep the movie feeling very real, very raw and so much fun to watch. And to top all of that off you once again have a magnificent soundtrack that heightens every moment from humour, tension, fear, to another night-club style scene with that pulsing beat of club music feeling like a heartbeat pumping the adrenaline through the scene and the characters and to the viewer watching. It’s movie magic it it’s core, creating an immersive moment that you are captivated by right through to the end when boom, silence and that’s when you realise you’ve been holding your breath the entire time.
Impressed beyond belief is the only way I can express my feelings from the first watch until now. While it’s not the original and some moments are a little too convenient and unbelievable even by this movie’s standards, it still holds it’s own and holds it high. If the third film can do the sort of things this one did I will be beyond impressed so while I’m hopeful I’m also sensible in the fact that this sequel and it’s greatness is a rare treat. While I hope it wasn’t a one off I’m so very glad it held it’s own even if it ended with that annoying cliff-hanger that has had me waiting for the next damn film for way too long.
Fun Facts: The body count in this movie is only 116 which actually makes it less than the first (yep I was surprised by that too). Keanu once again performed about 95% of hus stunts within the movie which is kind of incredible once you’ve seen it and how much he goes though…..the falling down the stairs scene wow! I also just learned that Australia near made this movie a straight to video with no theatrical release because they didn’t think they would make enough money….what?!?! Honestly, I just do not understand companies sometimes.