Say what you will about Keanu Reeves, the guy can play the shit out of an exacting and methodical psychopath. John Wick: Chapter 2, much like its younger brother John Wick, is a brutal revenge film that makes Old Boy look like John Tucker Must Die.
We open with a brash car chase; a thumping American muscle car tearing after a not so subtle bad guy on a motorbike. We can already assume that John has been slighted in some minor and absurd way, seeking his vengeance. And we would be correct.
Much of the film follows this formula, stretching the premise of what can even be deemed revenge. John gets forced to do something he doesn't want to: revenge. John gets double-crossed by said someone: revenge. Fortunately for us, with this uninspired monotony comes some of the most visually stunning cinema this year.
Shots are so well framed that the brutality, even the 4000+ execution style kills, develops a sort of elegance. The stunts, for the most part performed by Keanu himself, are well choreographed and the interplay with the environment is fluid enough to be both entertaining and believable. Follow up director Chad Stahelski manages to strike this fine balance between outlandish violence and dark humour that helps to highlight the film's irreverent spirit.
If you truly want to see why Baba Yaga had Michael Nyqvist so scared in the original film, then go see this. Like right now. Just don't take your kids.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is out now.
P.S. Apparently someone decided to make and sell replicas of the infamous writing tool.
Header image via lionsgate.com
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