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Movie Review – John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Guns!  Knives!  Stylishly choreographed fight scenes!

VGRF here with a review of John Wick: Chapter 2.

Take a gold coin and an OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING.

You know, 3.5 readers, back when I was dating that poor excuse for a man, BQB, I went with him to see the first John Wick movie and was pleasantly surprised.  Isn’t it great when you go to a film, not expecting much, only to be blown away by it?

Keanu Reeves, one of the world’s most well-preserved fifty something year olds, reprises his role.  Without getting into the nitty gritty, Wick owes someone a favor and when that favor is called in, whoa nelly, look out when because the shit is going to hit the proverbial fan.

It’s an excellent sequel.  It doesn’t follow the usual sequel mistake of trying to be bigger or badder.  It just carries on the story with all the stylish mayhem this franchise has caused us to grow accustomed to.

From a writer’s standpoint, wannabe scribes can learn a lot.  “Show, don’t tell” is the name of the game when it comes to good writing and both films follow that rule to the letter.

Wick lives in a world where hitmen have rules.  They use gold coins as currency.  There are hotels around the world where they can stay, utilize certain services and enjoy safety from other hitmen while under the hotel’s protection.  Ian McShane plays Winston, one such hotel owner. We learn a bit more about the rules and the people behind them in this film.

As this film series has grown in popularity, it’s no surprise that more and more actors want a piece of the action.  Common, Ruby Rose (who is having a good start to her year if you were one of the 3.5 people who saw XXX: Return of Xander Cage), and Lawrence Fishburne all stop by to trade snide comments and the occasional bullet with Wick.

Keanu’s still got it after all these years.  Whenever he speaks, he still sounds like that California surfer dude we loved in the eighties.  Half the time when he shoots someone I expect him to say, “And I’m Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan.”  (Go rent Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, millennials).

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  A third is clearly on the way.  I love it when a first film surprises me and I also love it when the studio doesn’t screw up the inevitable cash grabbing sequel once the first film generates a fan base.  Worth a trip to the theater.

 

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Movie Trailer – John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Hey 3.5 readers.

2014’s John Wick was such a special, under the radar surprise.  It didn’t get half the play it deserved and really grew just by word of mouth.

I was blown away when I saw it.

How to even explain it?

Very quickly, you, the viewer, are presented with a world where there’s a lot going on, but there isn’t much to bog you down in the way of detailed nuance.

Wick is a legendary hitman who goes into retirement to make his wife happy, only to come out of retirement when a puppy gifted to him by his deceased wife is killed by an epic douche.

Yeah, I know, it sounds like an unlikely plot but it works.

And there are rules. Hitmen use special coins as currency and they can stay at a special hotel where they’re supposed to be safe for the duration of their stay.  And for a certain amount of coins, hitmen can make their victims’ bodies disappear no questions asked.

In other words, there’s a lot of rules but you learn them quickly and easily.

Plus, it was great to see Keanu Reeves in a big lead role again.

Shit, that man is well-preserved.

Anyway, John Wick has been given a second chapter.  My only hope is that this franchise doesn’t get too big for its britches. Sometimes when a movie is an understated success there is a desire to go bigger in the sequel and that doesn’t always necessarily work out.

It was the quick, snappy, clear and concise writing that made the first Wick movie a success, so I hope there’s more of it this go around.

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