What is this? A review of a movie that’s actually somewhat topical, and not just one that was released a long time ago1? Scandalous! Earlier this week, me and Hans Olav had some Indian food, and went to see John Wick: Chapter 2.
As the “Chapter 2” part of the movie title implies, this is a sequel. The first John Wick movie premiered in 2014, and it saw generally favorable reviews across the board. If you haven’t watched the first movie, fear not. That’s not important to be able to understand the plot in Chapter 2. There is no deep meta-story anywhere that you need to be aware of to enjoy this second chapter. Here’s all you need to know: John Wick is a hitman with a reputation for getting his mark. He wanted to retire, but a bad man forced him back into the game. Now that bad man has to die.
Aaand, action! Lots and lots of it. If you need to watch something that won’t challenge you intellectually on any level, John Wick: Chapter 2 is absolutely perfect. You’ll get 122 minutes of pretty much non-stop action, and very, very little chit-chat. This makes the movie perfect for Keanu Reeves, who has the acting skills of a log. But he is absolutely superb as John Wick. Screenwriter Derek Kolstad has written a part that fits Reeves like a glove, and his lines are rarely longer than five words.
Interestingly, though, the scene where Reeves manages to sound reasonable believable, is during the longest verbal exchange of the movie. So maybe Reeves is actually an acting genius that my feeble mind doesn’t understand? Not unlikely.
Action. Not acting.
It doesn’t really matter, because John Wick: Chapter 2 is not about the acting. It’s all about the action, which set to a beautiful neo-noir backdrop. The soundtrack and sound design also kicks some serious behind. There are some unfortunate lacks of attention to detail, however. People are magically disappearing and re-appearing during a fight scene in a subway car. Point blank hits from a Benelli M4 Super 90 Shotgun doesn’t blow off a single body part. And every single henchman in this movie obviously skipped target practice.
Those minor technicalities aside, John Wick: Chapter 2 is a very, very good action movie. It’s a movie that will make you go “fuck yeah, I’ve made all the wrong choices in life! Should’ve been a hitman!”. So it obviously does something right.
I also learned a few interesting facts about New York:
- The city swarms with hitmen, assassins, and hired guns. They are everywhere!
- The NYPD is a joke. I don’t think I saw a single police officer, and there were… hmm.. incidents… that should have caught the attention of the guys and gals dressed in blue.
- There are apparently a lot of murders in New York. So many, in fact, that no one seemed to care that two guys were brutally murdered on the subway. And in a public park. And at a museum. You get the picture.
The second chapter of the ballad of John Wick has a wide open ending. Does this mean there will be a third chapter? Yes. At least according to IMDB. Good times.
If this review didn’t make you at least at little bit curious about the movie, maybe its trailer will: