A &E

A Wider View of the World: “John Wick 2”

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Keanu Reeves returns as an expert assassin and shows that action movies can be made with style in “John Wick 2.” Credit: @JohnWickMovie

“John Wick Chapter 2” is the sequel to the action-packed and commercially successful 2014 blockbuster “John Wick,” starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix trilogy). Reeves reprises his famous role as John Wick, a man seeking solitude after a successful career in being a hitman.

The trailer is completely ambiguous, as it does not reveal any of the plots or themes presented in this sequel. The only thing the audience is certain of walking into the movie is that Wick is once again out of retirement. This is an excellent decision, in times where movie trailers are essentially two to three minute, abridged versions of the movies they represent.

As the film begins, there is a projection on a wall of one of Buster Keaton’s films. Buster Keaton (1895-1966) was an American actor, director and stunt performer that was a pioneer in what the audience knows as stunt work today. This immediate and short homage to Keaton related to the viewing audience from the director, let’s take a wild ride! The movie had a thrilling one hundred and 20 minute run time that left the audience begging for more. The stunts were seamlessly conducted by Reeves, who is known for immersing himself in roles by doing ninety percent of his own stunt work.  

This movie paints a larger picture of the world that Wick was once a part of, as opposed to the myopic view the first film took. This allows us to understand much more the tactical prowess and precision with which Wick operates under. The audience sees the world that he operates in, but with the understanding that it has its own dynamic of people, rules, and practices that must be abided by.

As seen before, there is a lot of violence where Wick’s weapon abilities are comparable to a cheat code in a first-person shooter video game. He hits every single target on the first attempt, (which would make him a viable threat in the Star Wars universe against storm troopers). This is the only dynamic that appears “unreal” throughout the movie; however, it lends to Wick’s legend, which too can be compared to Chuck Norris’ endless mythology.

The movie also has a bit of impact lag, as the reason he returns to the underground world is a bit less compelling, and it’s something he truly is forced to do as opposed to the need he had in the first film. Nevertheless, “John Wick 2” has captured what so many other movie franchises failed to do, improve on the worlds they initially created. The idea is not as fresh as it was before but provides meaning by creating a new layer of knowledge of the world in its predecessor.  

The movie’s critical reception has prompted the beginning of principal photography for the sequel, months before “John Wick’s 2” releases. So in the future, expect to be wowed even more from this franchise, which deserves three thumbs up!

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