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Review

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ measures up as successful sequel

February 15, 2017

All John Wick wants to do is retire and live in peace with his dog. However, circumstances from his past won’t allow this and once again, the Baba Yaga, the man you call to kill the Boogeyman, the world’s best assassin, is forced to come out.

I’m not going to lie, I am a huge fan of the first “John Wick” film. I had big expectations for this sequel because it had so much potential and if it followed suit to the same values and feeling that the first movie had, I knew this could be a great film. I was not disappointed. “John Wick: Chapter 2” is what sequels should strive to be.

What made the first film so successful was how it took something so simple, a man pissed off at some thugs for killing his dog (which was a last parting gift from his deceased wife) and wanting revenge, and made it into a brilliant film. The story was simple but it was the way that the story was told and the background stories of who John Wick was in the past that made this film stand out. The film that had great emotional appeal, brilliantly directed and choreographed action sequences, an awesome soundtrack and so much more. “Chapter 2” follows up in equal or greater value.

I was hoping that this film would stay true to who John Wick was, which was a man wanting to live in peace and trying to escape his dark past. I am so happy to say that, yes, they still make this the main theme of the film. While I wouldn’t say the emotional appeal is quite as strong as in the first film, I do think that it is still very much there.

This poor man just wants to grieve and live out a peaceful life, and yet his past just won’t let him. I’m glad they still chose to make this a central focus because it makes John Wick relatable and makes us really feel for the guy. While none of us are trained killers like Wick, we still are able to connect and relate to the guy.

Now let’s talk about this trained killer side of Wick, specifically the action scenes. Since “Chapter 2” is about 30 minutes longer than the first film, you know they pack in more action sequences and, man oh man, were they fantastic! What makes the action sequences so good in these films are that, even though the action is constant, it always feels different.

The choreography, set design, soundtrack, light and dark aspects and more are always changing to make the action feel new and exciting. On top of these qualities, it feels realistic because John Wick is constantly reloading his weapons! Finally, we have an action film that realizes there are limits to how many bullets weapons can hold! Not nearly enough action films take this into consideration and when they don’t, the film feels fake.

“John Wick” has always kept this in mind, and it really does make the film that much more special and also intense because sometimes he does run out of ammo and needs to use other resources or hand-to-hand combat to get out of a situation. So once again, the action is phenomenal.

Now, being a non-stop action film, there really isn’t a whole lot of dialogue. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though! In this case, and like the first film, when there is dialogue it is very well written and important to the story. The dialogue is actually some of the best parts of the movie. Like I said, the action is non-stop and the dialogue and break scenes are a breath of fresh air, a nice change of pace, that offer some great humor as well.

This being said, the only thing that I really don’t care for in this film is one of the interactions at the end of the film. While being good, it is slightly unbelievable. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just leave it at that. It, however, does not take anything away from the film.

“John Wick” brought John out of hiding. “John Wick: Chapter 2” brings the Baba Yaga back in full force. I love this film, and I can’t wait to see what they bring in “Chapter 3.”

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