John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Rated R
Action / Thriller
Try pairing with:  Tri-Colored Bean Salad

Jen’s Rating:  C

I was so excited to see the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 2. I loved the John Wick and couldn’t wait to glue myself down and see it. It had some of the same characters so I knew it was going to be great.

Keanu Reeves plays John Wick who was attempting again to leave the negative parts of his life behind him. John was forced not to retire when Santino D’Antonio played by Riccardo Scamarcio burned his house to the ground within the first 10 minutes of the movie. John went to Santino and attempted to carry out his wishes but what did John do next; the same thing John did before, seek revenge.

Again there was a huge bounty on John’s head and a lot of people died. John seeks the help of the homeless hit men to save the day. There was a lot of great acting and great actors such as Ian McShane as Winston, Laurence Fishburne as Bowery King, John Leguizamo as Aurelio and Common as Cassian.

I struggled with my rating for John Wick: Chapter 2 and the whole time watching it I thought I was going to give it a “B” but with much disappointment it was just average. The story line was blah yet it was still action packed but the kicker was that the ending sucked! Although I thought the ending was bad it left an opening for a John Wick 3. It is definitely a one-time watcher. I don’t feel I wasted my time but I definitely won’t be watching it again. I will watch John Wick: Chapter 3 if one comes out.

Jeremy’s Rating:  B

We had both been very excited to watch this follow-up to the first film in the series by Chad Stahelski, and knowing the normal fate for most sequels I was worried that it wouldn’t produce on the level that the original did.  However, I was pleasantly surprised despite the little bits and pieces that made it not quite as good as the original.  The problem with Chapter Two is that it loses its element of surprise that the original film had.  Obviously, going into it you are already expecting a grandiose revenge film of murder and mayhem, but there is no magical build-up like the previous one had, because you already know the backstory of John Wick’s life for the most part.  The writers did a passable job of introducing a sub-story that viewers were unaware of but it doesn’t hold the same gravity as the first, as in this installment, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is merely repaying a debt owed and then once again taking revenge on those who wronged him.

Luckily, what I was looking for from a John Wick was more of the same, and this definitely delivered.  The pounding action and great fight choreography tied in wonderfully with the outrageous gunplay, and it kept to the wonderfully high standard of action that the first film showcased.  Ian McShane and John Leguizamo reprise their roles here and are just as fantastic as they were in the first one.  Chapter Two also introduces some new characters like Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and Santino D’Antonio played by Riccardo Scamarcio, who plays a great sociopathic criminal born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  The cast and the acting is what really shines in this iteration alongside the action one has come to expect from these films.

While I cannot put this sequel into a class with the first film, I definitely enjoyed my time spent on it, and would highly recommend it to fans of the series or anyone who loves action or revenge flicks.  There are areas where the plot becomes droll and seems trite as if it was thrown together to get the whole project to work, but that comes as no surprise.  The showcase here is the action, as I stated earlier.  I do wish that I had gone to see this in the theater because I feel the booming surround sound and large screen could have really done it justice, but I was just as happy with my two-dollar rental from our local spot.  This movie garners a solid B as it doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor, but definitely manages to stand on its own two feet.

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