Mittwoch, 15. März 2017

JOHN WICK 2 - Movie Review

Title: John Wick: Chapter 2
Running Time: 106 min
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common, Laurence Fishburne

"Whoever comes, I'll kill them. I'll kill them all!" When a protagonist drops this line in a movie trailer, you know that shit is about to go down. Especially when said protagonist is John Wick. After mediocre films like "Man of Tai Chi" and "47 Ronin" Keanu Reeves came back with a bang in the 2014 gun-fu action thriller of the same name. "John Wick" was a surprise hit and surprised audiences with its beautifully choreographed fight scenes, impressively shot action and unique world-building. With all its style it looked like a perfect adaptation of a dark graphic novel, except that this film was an original idea. As it goes in Hollywood: If you are successful you get a sequel, and so now, three years later "John Wick: Chapter 2" hit theaters all around the world. But did the movie manage the difficult task of raising up the game while simultaneously giving us the old stuff we love?
Well if you ask me, it totally did. "John Wick: Chapter 2" does not only double-down on the action, but also dives deeper into the mysterious slick world it created in its first installment. It is very much a continuation of its predecessor, as it picks up (almost) right where we left off. John Wick is finishing up on some of the business from the first film when his plan to move back into retirement afterwards is interrupted by an old associate. As expected, assassin shenanigans ensue...
There is no denying that the story of this sequel relies on the audience's memory of the original. Content-wise and emotionally. Firstly, there is numerous references to events, operations and/or places that were mentioned before and are somewhat taken for granted. Secondly, the film does not make an effort to build up a new emotive motivation for our main character, and rather trusts the emotional investment of the first film to carry over. As a result, this movie might seem hollow for newbies, but will reward fans all the more.
Because except for dog-killing, the filmmakers up the ante on every level. There is more action, more stunts, more violence, more assassins, more "Continentals" and more of that specific lore that makes this movie stand out. Once again, the choreographies are fantastic and will enthuse every true action fan. Nobody is pulling punches and so you see actors getting thrown through windows, falling down stairs and getting hit by cars without any excessive use of cuts to mask the action. At this point the film also impresses with it the way it continuously comes up with interesting location that it tightly incorporates into the fighting sequences. You can feel that the film makers put a lot of passion into constructing these scenes, and the fun they had carries over to the viewer. When watching a certain moment between Keanu and Common at a subway station, its not hard to visualize how they wrote it with a big chuckle.
And that is the beauty of "John Wick: Chapter 2":While the film doesn't take itself too serious and winks at you more then once, it always takes the genre and the craft of it serious. It doesn't get lazy and truly earns its action packed "Holy Shit" moments. Its extensive and creative world-building sets it apart from other bland franchises and gives the movie an own personality. If there will be a third installment that is just as good as the other two, we might have the rare case of a perfect action trilogy at our hands.

For Fans of:
John Wick (2014)
The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)
The Equalizer (2014)
The Transporter (2002)

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen