John Wick Chapter 2 picks up immediately from the end of the first film. John Wick is an ex-marine who became the world's best hitman known as the bogeyman. Not the sort of guy that you want to get on the wrong side off, as we found out in the first film. Still trying to settle back into retirement, John is pulled deeper into his past life and must fight harder than he ever has to get out.
I know what you are thinking, how could this sequel lift up the action any more than the first film. Well, that film was always meant to be an introduction. Using a fair amount of energy setting the footings for what is to come. So what we receive is as the title suggests, the second chapter which wastes no efforts in detail. Just pure wild and constant action, with what appears to be every example of how to kill in one movie including using a pencil.
It's fair to say that, when the first film was released it was a big surprise to the audience. On paper, it appears to be just another action film. But the big difference here is the style of direction. It's clear that it is heavily influenced by the eastern martial arts movies packed full of constant stunts. So who better to direct than an ex stuntman, Chad Stahelski. Even the opening scene of John Wick Chapter 2 has a projection of a Buster Douglas film onto a building. Clearly hinting to what is about to happen, which is a finely choreographed display of the finest close up stunt work you could ever see.
Stahelski certainly succeeds in creating possibly one of the most consistent action franchises ever made. He clearly is not concerned about taking from the past. So why not steal from another hugely grossing action flick like the Matrix and then be so brazen to steal from the cast too.
Well if it is not good enough to cast Keanu Reeves, why not throw in Laurence Fishburne too. With Keanu playing a not too dissimilar role and Fishburne picking up a role in which he helps out John Wick. It has caused some people to strongly questioned this choice. But the best bit is, it really works and is a stroke of genius. Reeves picks up the role with equal vigor to the first film, John Wick is possibly his best role yet. Fishburne does well as the Bowery King. But a strong standout in the cast is the brilliant Ian McShane, reprising his role of Winston, who we get to know a little more about in this outing.
The big catch to John Wick Chapter 2 is that there is little expansion in the story. Yes, it is leading us into John Wick 3 making it a transitional piece. But the bottom line is there is a severe lack of substance. On the flip side, what this does do, is allow the director to go full speed ahead and he sure does that.
It all boils down to this, none of the movies in the John Wick franchise are made to be a thinking persons type of film. However, if you enjoy action films you will love this. The whole thing is amazingly shot and just oozes style. On top of that, it's thoroughly entertaining, as long as you can stomach the outrageous blood-soaked violence that is.