Movie Review – John Wick Chapter 2

John Wick Chapter 2, with Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio and Ian McShane, directed by Chad Stahelski.

4/5

WITH bullets flying in all directions and the bad guys dying like flies, John Wick is in action again in this, the second chapter of the John Wick franchise.

Following on from the first movie, Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced out of retirement when Italian crime boss, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) calls in a marker and commissions Wick to kill his sister who has a place at the “high table”, a crime organisation with very strict rules of engagement.

When Wick refuses to honour the marker, D’Antonio and his people bomb the former assassin’s home and force him to seek the guidance of Winston (Ian McShane), another member of the high table and the owner of the Continental Hotel, a place of sanctuary for the criminal elite. Winston tells Wick there is no choice, that he must honour the marker.

In a crisis of conscience, Wick realises that, to nullify the marker, he must kill Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini), so he gathers as much armoury as possible including a suit “for tactical purposes” with Kevlar sown into the lining, and goes off to Rome.

Wick uses the catacombs to enter into Gianna’s place of business and “kills” her (after she kills herself), even though he admits to being her friend. On his exit Wick is pursued by Gianna’s bodyguard, Cassian (Common), and a shootout ends with the two men falling through a window at the Continental. As the rules of the establishment are that no fighting is allowed within the hotel’s precinct, both share a drink together and, although amicable on the surface, each promises the other a quick death as a matter of professional courtesy.

With Wick having completed the task, Santino puts out a contract on him for $7-million. Now the entire world of assassins is after Wick, but he seems well able to take care of himself.

If you thought the original John Wick was a good movie, then this second chapter will knock your socks off. There is a great deal of killing, mostly by shooting, and Reeves apparently took special combat lessons to learn how to rapidly fire weapons before he shot the movie. There is also an element of déjà vu when Wick meets with Laurence Fishburne (who plays Bowery King). And one expects him to ask for the blue or the red pill.

Altogether, this is a really good movie and, if you like cops and robbers (or just robbers and robbers) with lots of shooting and fight scenes, this is a movie you should not miss.

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