February 10, 2017

Review: John Wick 2

I never heard of John Wick prior to seeing a trailer for John Wick 2 back in October.  When I received the screening tickets I wasn't even sure if I was going to use them until a friend was extremely excited to see the movie.
While I absolutely love franchises I really believe each movie should stand on its own.  The hosts asked the audience before the screening who had seen John Wick and I think I was one of maybe a dozen who didn't raise their hand.  Whey then started talking about John's dog and car, I thought: Well crap I'm not going to have a clue.  Attention Studios: If there are details absolutely necessary for the newbie to know then work them in somehow and do it quickly.  John Wick 2 did that very well.
The first scene of the movie not only connects 2 to the original it does so in such a fashion that everyone can follow along.  We learn of John Wick's (Keanu Reeves) history as he lays waste to those responsible for ruining his life as he retrieves the aforementioned car.  John's actions wind up nullifying his retirement, which has grave repercussions. There is a strict honor and code that rules the criminal enterprises of the world.  His marker, void while in retirement, is now being called due.  In fulfilling his obligation the tables are further turned when a  seven million dollar bounty is put on his head.
This movie with all of its weapons and fight scenes does not take itself serious.  The opening moments included images from a 1920s car chase being projected on buildings as John sped by.  The hierarchy within this criminal world has such strong rules that John and Cassian (Common), stop while trying to kill each other and like guilty school children fighting on a play ground apologize for breaking through a window then head into the hotel's bar for a drink.  The testosterone is definitely at high levels as heard with the verbal grunts John and Cassian exchange with every punch, hit or shot fired.
I'd like to point out that I caught a nod to their cinematic past between Reeves and Laurence Fishburne who plays the Bowery King when upon meeting John says "You have a choice"; great throwback to The Matrix franchise and the last time these two were in a movie together.  
Did I enjoy the movie? Yes  
Would I have paid to see it? No 
Am I going to watch John Wick to see what I missed? No
Those who love action movies for the sake of action are going to enjoy this movie, I'm just not one of those people. There wasn't enough of a story line for me to be engaged.  
Here's two bits of info fans may enjoy:
1. Director Chad Stahelski had been tapped to direct DeadPool2
2. John Wick was conceived as a trilogy so there could be one more (nothing official yet)
My score:
3/5 Crowns
Up next:
Lion (want to see this before the Oscars)
Fist Fight Screening
The Wall Screening
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