Now, I thought about doing a review of John Wick Chapter 2 since I saw it last weekend for Valentine’s Day. Before anybody says anything, the wife tends to choose action movies for this holiday. We both loved the first one and have been waiting impatiently for the second. Not to mention she wanted to do her part to make sure we get a third one and stick it to that other movie that people seem to expect her gender to make a beeline towards. Only if they paid her a million bucks and she’d probably sneak out during the trailers with the check.
Where was I? Yes, the review. I don’t really know if I can review this movie because I don’t trust myself to avoid spoilers. It was great! I want to see it again and plan on grabbing the DVD when it’s out. My birthday is in April and I’m thinking of telling one person to hold off and get me it if they can. Pre-order even! I want to do a John Wick marathon so badly to see how all the pieces fit and evolve. As you can see, I’m restraining myself. There are two things I can mention though and they’re the reasons I loved this movie so much.
In the first movie, they gave a little insight into the world of assassins. We saw the coins used as payments, The Continental that was neutral ground, and learned some of their society’s rules. It had a sense of honor that was taken seriously. John Wick Chapter 2 built upon this and revealed more of the world, which was amazing. You don’t get a lot of the history, but you find out more about how things work. What happens when somebody breaks a rule? Is it the same around the world or is NYC run differently? How do contracts work and get sent out? Just seeing the meat of this world made it worth the price of admission. You simply don’t see a lot of action movies go this deep into the world and reveal a level of crafting that one tends to see more in sci-fi and fantasy.
I’ll give an example as best I can: John Wick has to take a job. To do this he needs some supplies and info that comes from three different sources. Instead of one scene per person, you get a scene that does seamless jumps from one meeting to another. You get to see how the coins come into play, hear the assassin lingo that isn’t confusing at all (weapon buying was talked about like planning a multi-course dinner), and see how much planning goes into a job. There’s some humor in here too, but I loved how you got to see the cogs that would be behind the assassins.
One of my biggest issues with some of the more modern action movies is that they use a shaky camera or have scenes so chaotic that I can’t follow things. That isn’t the case with this movie. Just the beautiful choreography involved in fights that range from shootouts to hand-to-hand. For those that don’t know, the directors were stuntmen (or maybe coordinators) on The Matrix trilogy. So these guys know their action and it shows every time. The first movie was great, but this one surpassed it. This is one of the big reasons that I can’t do a worthy review. You simply have to see how well done these are. Sure, you have to be interested in action and be able to handle the violence, but it’s not like the movie hides that.
Honestly, these are the way my action scenes turn up in my head. If any of my stories become movies or TV shows then this is how I would want them to be done. You get to see every move and not be confused on who is doing what. It’s like watching a real fight in person where the scenery doesn’t feel like it’s tilting for no reasons. I get the whole ‘sense of chaos’ thing, but the audience should still be able to follow the action. That’s what happens here and it really set my personal bar for other action movies. Going to be really hard to top or equal this. I’m looking at you, Logan.
I will say that there was one addition that I didn’t like because it seemed to take a little of the danger out of it. So, there are imperfections. Not enough to reduce my enjoyment, but I’m not a nitpicker. Really praying they can make a third because the ending is a perfect set up. I’m even willing to wait another two years for something this good. Guess I’ll have Deadpool 2 next year to tide me over in 2018.