Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 2


Three years after making us go insane with it’s slick and stylish action thriller, John Wick arrived with a sequel this week and I must confess, it’s far more fascinating and thrilling than the prequel. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) a.k.a Boogeyman decides to retire from his assassination job, take retreat and focus on living a simply life with his adopted puppy in his Long Rhode island villa.

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Keanu Reeves as John Wick (a.k.a Boogeyman)

He is persuaded by Italian gangster Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) to take up the assignment to terminate his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini) so that he can take her place at the ‘high table’ in Rome. In spite of having an obligation on him, John refuse to comply that cost him his house. Left with no options, John reluctantly accepts the offer only to discover much to his shock there’s a huge bounty on his head set by the gangster.

What makes John Wick 2 far more exciting is the breathless action sequences that is humongous and shot more. It’s slick, stylish and keeps you glued to your seats. Whether is it John’s relentless dispatching goons who stole his car or the ‘gun-fu’ festive that takes place in Rome or the climatic sequence where John single-handedly wipes out several men with his well choreographed action skills is an icing on the cake. Filmmaker Chad Stahelski, who earlier helmed the prequel,  gets the opportunity to sink his teeth well with the material he has and executes it heavily relying on thrills it provides throughout with stunning cinematography of Dan Laustsen where he captures every frame with lot of passion.

If I dig deeper and try to examine the message film tries to convey, it makes a solid statement. John Wick is portrayed as a hero (positive character) in the film but if we see him from a  magnifying lens and try to analyze his moral code, he is surely no way less antagonistic than the villains he’s fighting against.

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Riccardo Scamarcio as the central antagonist Santario D’Antonio (Right)

After all he is an assassin and certainly must’ve be responsible for carrying out lot of homicide for the sake of cash and survival, which he had to pay back in the form of losing his wife to an unspecified illness, got his wife’s gifted puppy killed, had his Mastang car stolen (in the prequel). And while he did earnestly try to step back from the merciless job, he is forced to postpone his retirement plan.  John Wick’s actions makes a metaphor out of famous saying ‘You get what you give out’.

As far as performances are concerned, you don’t expect any histrionics in a film like this and while this notion remains true, John Wick: Chapter 2 is eventually a Keanu Reeves vehicle, he breathes life into his role of an brooding assassin. He is charismatic, viciously sexy and in full element. Likewise, the nemesis Riccardo Scamarcio has a screen presence that is nothing short of electrifying. One word of mention for Laurence Fishburne, who is cast as the old rival of Wick, he’s devilishly humorous.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a terrific, breathless and riveting film that must be experienced on big screen. The fun quotient is consistent, highly entertaining so make sure you watch the film with your friends and grab a big bucket of popcorn and soft drink to relish every moment the film offers.

Amazing guilty pleasure film indeed.

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Keanu Reeves with Common (one of the rivals Cassien)

 

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