‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Enters the Pantheon of Action Sequels

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick didn’t reinvent the action genre, but it felt revelatory nonetheless. It was an action movie that took viewers into a lived-in world that world that wasn’t bogged down by needless explanations. On top of it, John Wick featured some of the best action work to grace the screens in a decade, with Keanu Reeves’ deadly assassin delivering all sorts of punishment in visually clear compositions that highlighted the great fight choreography. Action fans rightfully went wild over John Wick and their excitement paved the way for the sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, which brings back Reeves’ assassin as well as writer Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski. Those fearing that John Wick: Chapter 2 might’ve been underwhelming can put those fears to rest as Chapter 2 enters the pantheon of action sequels. John Wick: Chapter 2 is everything an action movie should be, featuring amazing fights, colorful characters, and it expands upon the world introduced in the first film without even attempting to over-explain even the slightest detail. For action fans, John Wick: Chapter 2 will be like a religious experience as it delivers on every conceivable level making John Wick the best pure action franchise of the 21st Century.

The sequel opens with John Wick (Reeves) seeking to retrieve his stolen car from the first film. In this action-packed opening, all the events of the first film are quickly explained by a Russian crime boss (Peter Stormare) as Wick unleashes his violent fury on anyone that stands in his way. It’s truly an astounding opening sequence that features amazing stunt driving and fight scenes of the highest caliber as well as showing expedience in introducing John Wick for any viewer that was unfortunate enough to miss the first film.

Once Wick has retrieved his car, he returns to his home with his new dog from the end of the first film, though Wick has yet to bestow a name on his new pooch. John Wick now believes that his life of brutality is behind him and can begin again to rebuild his life following the loss of his beloved wife. Those hopes are quickly dashed when Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarico) comes knocking on his door. Santino brings with him a marker, which signifies an unpaid debt in the form of a blood oath, that he wants John Wick to fulfil. Wick refuses and Santino destroys Wick’s home. The rules that govern this underground world of assassins dictate that Wick will be killed if he doesn’t fulfil the blood oath nor can he seek revenge on Santino for the destruction of his home. Reluctantly, Wick agrees to Santino’s demands that he assassinate Santino’s sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini). Wick must travel to Rome to carry out the mission, but success opens up a whole new can of bloody worms that will make John Wick a target for every assassin out there.

Colorful supporting characters from the first film return – Winston (Ian McShane), the manager of the Continental in New York who oversees the rules that govern the assassins; Charon (Lance Reddick), the helpful concierge of the Continental; and Aurelio (John Leguizamo), the car expert. And then there’s a whole new rogues gallery introduced in the sequel – Cassian (Common), the bodyguard for Gianna that seeks violent retribution on John Wick; Ares (Ruby Rose), the mute assassin working for Santino; the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), who oversees his own band of assassins; Julius (Franco Nero), the manager of the Continental in Rome; and the Sommelier (Peter Serafinowicz), who provides the guests of the Continental in Rome with an assortment of weaponry. Each of these characters are unique and lively as they further flesh out this underworld of professional assassins.

Expanding upon the world he created, screenwriter Derek Kolstad adds depth to the lived-in world from the first film but never gives away too much. Each and every one of the characters within John Wick: Chapter 2 have a history but their past is never explained in detail. This may be frustrating to certain viewers that want every minute detail explained, but it works incredibly well within this world. There’s really something to be said about the way Kolstad crafts this world but retains a strong sense of ambiguity, completely understanding that giving far too many details can be entirely underwhelming.

It’s the action of John Wick: Chapter 2 that people are excited for and this sequel doesn’t let down in this department. Former stuntman Chad Stahelski cements his status as one of the premiere action directors working today with astounding action work he presents here. The breathtaking sequences encompass all forms of cinematic action with stellar car chases, gun fights, and hand-to-hand battles that are unrivaled in American cinema. Stahelski’s action direction never even approaches the realm of chaotic shaky cam, always allowing the viewer a visual understanding of the spatial relationships between characters, and this even extends to his moments involving car and motorcycle chases. Even when you think that Stahelski has played every possible card out of the deck, the film climaxes with an amazing sequence within a hall of mirrors, like a ruthlessly violent homage to the finale of The Lady from Shanghai.

Even though John Wick is the ultimate badass killing machine, there’s still a sense of vulnerability to the character that keeps the events interesting beyond a simple action level. This is a character that’s still mourning the loss of his wife, an emotional pain that exists beyond the tough exterior. More importantly, John Wick takes hits that force him battle through his wounds. He’s a superman of sorts but not entirely invincible and it’s an important factor that keeps everything with a tinge of suspense even though you never doubt that Reeves’ Wick is going to kill every last son of bitch he encounters.

Action films don’t get much better than John Wick: Chapter 2. Its only modern rivals are the first John Wick and The Raid (yes, I know everyone loves the sequel but I just didn’t care for it). The sequel raises the stakes, expands the world, and delivers nonstop entertainment that is thrilling and often quite funny – oh yeah, and you don’t have to worry about the dog this time. John Wick: Chapter 2 has an open-ended conclusion that leaves the door wide open for John Wick: Chapter 3 and as the credits rolled all I could think about was setting my calendar for the next installment. Until it comes time for Chapter 3, I guess I’ll just have to watch John Wick: Chapter 2 another 50 times.


Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
digimon tri cast
Digimon Tri Cast Interview at Shout! Factory

Digimon Tri is the sequel to the second season of Digimon...

ronnie coleman
Become a King with a Free Gym Pass – Ronnie Coleman: The King Review

A long, long time ago before IG fitness models were a thing,...

netflix anime
New Anime Series for Netflix Starting this Fall

Netflix announced two new anime series during the Netflix Anime panel at...

Event News Event Reviews
Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018
Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR and Stern Pinball

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR...

Anime expo 2018
Anime Expo 2018 Brings the Heat to Los Angeles

Last year, I picked on Anime Expo not being worth the...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Interview with Mark Mowbray of KLab

Established in 2000, KLab‘s goal is to create a world of excitement...

Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene
Mondo Games Unleashes Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene Board Game

MONDO GAMES unleashes Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene board game for 25th Anniversary...

Great Coffee Break
Escape Work By Playing The Great Coffee Break

You can escape work, in more ways than one, by playing The...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams
Sam Kieth Makes Long-Awaited Return to The Outback in Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams

SAN DIEGO, CA and BURBANK, CA (June 21, 2018) – Batman...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
anime pls
Anime Pls by Bioworld – Exclusive Interview

Bioworld Merchandising is a pop culture product expert. The company is considered...

heaven's feel
Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] THE MOVIE I. presage flower Blu-ray Release

TLDR Aniplex of America announced that box office hit, Fate/stay night ...

Few Even Come Close – EVEN H2 Headphones Review

Even headphones are like having prescription glasses, but for your ears...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
NJPW G1 Special from San Francisco Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) the King of Sports returns to...

Jeanie Buss & MGM TV Tags AXS TV to Broadcast WOW-Women of Wrestling Events

Jeanie Buss and MGM Television Tags AXS TV to Broadcast WOW-Women...

Kevin Belington Faces Martin Nguyen for the ONE FC Interim Bantamweight Title

From ONE FC – 07 June 2018 – Manila, Philippines: The...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Harlan Ellison: A tribute (of sorts)

For the longest time in my life I was afraid of...

Iron Fist Racist
Is Marvel Iron Fist Racist? Part 2- Yeah…

After the casting controversy, two shows, and a guest appearance in Marvel...

Cultural Junkdrawer – Season’s end: The Flash season 4


Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

%d bloggers like this: