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John Wick: Chapter 2

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Feb 10, 2017
Keanu Reeves stars in 'John Wick: Chapter 2'
Keanu Reeves stars in 'John Wick: Chapter 2'  

John Wick returns, and not only burns brighter, but longer.

The surprise hit Keanu Reeves vehicle from 2014 had the simplest of premises: A hit man (Reeves) is set to retire his guns after the death of his wife. Posthumously, she sends Wick a dog to keep him company after her passing, but his past comes calling. After Wick pisses off the wrong people, his dog is shot and killed, leading Wick to go on a revenge spree in a world populated by undercover assassins.

In "John Wick: Chapter 2," we start with gangster Abram (Peter Stormare) bemoaning the loss of his nephew (the guy who shot John's dog in Chapter 1) and a number of his men at the hands of Wick. He takes great pride in the fact that they have Wick's prized car in their possession, but as soon as you can say "hide your pencils," Wick has arrived to get it back. This leads to a slam-bang opening action sequence that involves car chases, shoot-outs, and hand to hand combat like you've never seen. It's hilarious, thrilling, and mind-bogglingly choreographed.

When Wick gets home (worse for the wear) he is visited by Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who allowed Wick to get out of the life, but with the promise that if Santino ever needed anything, he could call on Wick to take care of it. Desperate to be out of the life, Wick refuses. In exchange, Santino blows up his house.

Wick realizes he needs to do what Santino wants, which is to have Wick kill his own sister so he can take her place on some sort of political panel. Reluctantly, John gets prepared, and, let's just say, things don't go so easily. Soon enough, John is on the run from a number of assassins.

The "Wick" movies are fast-paced, with outrageous fight scenes and a tongue-in-cheek world that clearly knows it is ridiculous and gleefully plays into it. Whether Reeves is entirely aware of this, I'm not sure. He continues to add as little emotion to his line readings as possible and speaks so slowly the film could have lopped off a half an hour of its running time if he had just talked like a normal person.

But that's a minor quibble. Truth be told, Reeves' blank-ish performance is partly what makes the film so entertaining. Add in expertly crafted action scenes, a heavy dose of winking humor, gorgeous set design and beautiful cinematography, and you have a franchise I'll greedily watch the next chapter of.

John Wick: Chapter 2

Retired super-assassin John Wick's plans to resume a quiet civilian life are cut short when Italian gangster Santino D'Antonio shows up on his doorstep with a gold marker, compelling him to repay past favors. Ordered by Winston, kingpin of secret assassin society The Continental, to respect the organization's ancient code, Wick reluctantly accepts the assignment to travel to Rome to take out D'Antonio's sister, the ruthless capo atop the Italian Camorra crime syndicate.


Runtime :: 122 mins
Release Date :: Feb 10, 2017
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States


John Wick :: Keanu Reeves
Cassian :: Common
Bowery King :: Laurence Fishburne
Ares :: Ruby Rose
Charon :: Lance Reddick
Abram :: Peter Stormare
Helen :: Bridget Moynahan
Julius :: Franco Nero
Aurelio :: John Leguizamo
Winston :: Ian McShane
Jimmy :: Thomas Sadoski


Director :: Chad Stahelski
Screenwriter :: Derek Kolstad
Producer :: Basil Iwanyk
Producer :: Erica Lee
Executive Producer :: Jeff Waxman
Executive Producer :: Robert Bernacchi
Executive Producer :: David Leitch
Executive Producer :: Kevin Frakes
Executive Producer :: Vishal Rungta
Cinematographer :: Dan Laustsen
Film Editor :: Evan Schiff
Original Music :: Tyler Bates
Original Music :: Joel Richard

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.

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