John Wick: Chapter 2 (Advanced Screening) Review

The second chapter in the John Wick franchise. Take the original John Wick formula and crank everything up to 11, and thats what this sequel is!

“You wanted me back… I’m back!”

Release Date: Thursday Evening showings, official release: February 10th

Before I get super into this review, I’ve been sick for a couple days, so my writing may come off a bit weird or I may ramble a bit. Anyways, here we go!

John Wick was a film that came out of nowhere, I had a buddy who recommended it to me at work, and I had absolutely no idea what it was about. It was probably the best or one of the best blind viewings and buys for a film that I’ve ever seen. The original John Wick was an really fun thrill ride action movie, it was just ridiculous over the top romp. I’ve been counting down the days it seems until the day this sequel came out. When I heard the release date, and watched the trailer I knew that I was immediately in for another brilliant John Wick adventure.

John Wick: Chapter 2 takes place about two weeks after the first film. John Wick returns to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, but he discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life. What follows is a 2 hour ride, full of action, and amazing stunts.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is directed by Chad Stahelski. Stahelski directed the original John Wick (2014). I couldn’t imagine anyone else directing this film other than Chad Stahelski, I don’t think the film would feel right or look right. He took the elements that he learned from the original, and cranked it up to eleven. Every scene in this movie is well directed and well choreographed. I think the best part about the direction of this movie is how all the action scenes are directed. Much like the original film, its not a crazy back and forth with cuts and re-establishing shots and angles. He will set up a steady cam shot, and film his action scenes that way. It adds a lot to the film I think. I can’t wait to see what this director does next, if its anything like John Wick, sign me up.

The film is written by Derek Kolstad. His filmography consists of John Wick (2014). The chemistry that I feel like the director and writer of John Wick: Chapter 2 have is a great one. They’re both really great at what they do, and they play off each others strengths very well. The writer is able to add hilarious one liners and subtle comedy, but is also able to collaborate with Chad Stahelski (who actually was Keanu Reeve’s stunt double in The Matrix{1999}) to do these really great action sequences.

I had a stupid looking grin on my face throughout the whole film when I watched it, even with feeling like crap from being sick and being full of halls. The direction and writing of this film was absolutely spot on.

The cast of John Wick: Chapter 2 consists of Keanu Reeves as John Wick, Ian McShane as Winston, Lance Reddick as Charon, Laurence Fishbourne as Bowery King, Common as Cassian, and John Leguizamo as Aurelio.

Keanu Reeves filmography consists of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Point Break (1991), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), Speed (1994), The Matrix (1999), The Replacements (2000), Hardball (2001), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Enter The Matrix {Video Game} (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), Constantine (2005), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Street Kings (2008), John Wick (2014), The Neon Demon (2016), and Keanu (2016). It’s crazy to see how many different genres of films that Keanu Reeves has been in, he’s done what it seems like every kind of film you can do as an actor. My favourite role he has done though is John Wick, without a doubt. His delivery, his focus and his greatness really shines through in his role as Mr. Wick, I could never see anyone else play the character of John Wick. It wouldn’t look or feel right. In the original John Wick he was fantastic, but in John Wick Chapter 2 he took the character to a completely different level of awesome.

Ian McShane’s filmography consists of Agent Cody Banks (2003), We Are Marshall (2006), Deadwood {TV Series} (2004-2006), Hot Rod (2007), Shrek The Third (2007), Death Race (2008), Coraline (2009), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and John Wick (2014). I really like Ian McShane’s acting, I’m more so a fan of his non-comedic roles as I feel like his demanding presence doesn’t fit comedic roles that well. His drama and action roles I think stand out a lot more. I actually forgot he was the bad guy in Agent Cody Banks (2003), now I have to re-watch that movie, I used to watch it all the time when I was younger. Anyways, back on track. It was great to see Ian McShane reprise his role as Winston in John Wick: Chapter 2. He was definitely on during the filming, and I thought this was his best role. He even had genuinely funny moments, but was serious the whole time; Which I think adds to the character.

Lance Reddick’s filmography consists of having the most badass name (always), Oz {TV Series} (2000-2001), The Wire {TV Series} (2002-2008), Lost {TV Series} (2008-2009), John Wick (2014), The Guest (2014), Destiny {Video Game} (2015), and Quantum Break {Video Game} (2016). Lance Reddick brings you in to his world when he acts, he is always excellent to watch. He was absolutely fantastic in The Wire, but almost stole the show in The Guest; which is still my favourite role he did. But it was awesome to see him come back in this sequel, I love him as the hotel manager, he has great lines of dialogue that are delivered perfectly.

Laurence Fishbourne’s filmography consists of Apocalypse Now (1979), A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Mystic River (2003), Enter The Matrix {Video Game} (2003), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Mission: Impossible III (2006), 21 (2008), Predators (2010), Contagion (2011), Rudderless (2014), and Hannibal {TV Series} (2013-2015). There is no doubt that Laurence Fishbourne can act, he is brilliant in every role he’s in. But it was really nice to see Fishbourne and Reeve’s chew the scenery together again in John Wick: Chapter 2. I thought that Fishbourne’s role was very much quality over quantity, but it was great to see Neo and Morpheus together again.

Common’s filmography consists of Smokin’ Aces (2006), American Gangster (2007), Street Kings (2008), Now You See Me (2013), Selma (2014), Entourage (2015), and Suicide Squad (2016). Honestly, I’ve seen all these movies and I can only really remember Common in American Gangster (2007) and Selma (2014). He is a surprisingly good actor, nothing particularly special, but he is definitely a quality actor. I thought he did a great job in John Wick: Chapter 2, he had great chemistry with Keanu Reeves, and they shared a few great fight scenes and subtle comedic scenes together.

John Leguizamo’s filmography consists of Die Hard 2 (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Spawn (1997), The Pest (1997), Titan A.E. (2000), Moulin Rouge! (2001), Ice Age (2002), Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Gamer (2009), Ice Age; Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), Repo Men (2010), The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), Kick-Ass 2 (2013), John Wick (2014), and American Ultra (2015). It’s awesome to see John Leguizamo back in the sequel to John Wick. He was one of my favourite little side characters in the original film. His delivery and presence is always spot on… I loved him in these films.

The acting of John Wick: Chapter 2 was fantastic. It was great to see all the original cast replay their roles, but having the new people added to the cast really took the film to a whole new place.

John Wick: Chapter 2 takes the elements that made John Wick a good film, and cranked them all up by 11. The films action scenes were so well done, the story was a bit better, the fun factor was through the roof. It was a two hour film that didn’t feel two hours. I had a big stupid grin on my face the entire film, and honestly? I think that John Wick: Chapter 2 was a better film than the original. Which doesn’t stamp out the original at all, the original is a great film, but the sequel…holy crap.

If you like action films, and you haven’t seen John Wick… you’re doing it wrong. You can jump into the sequel without seeing the original film, but you’d also be missing out on a great film. And theres no excuse… it’s on Netflix.

John Wick: Chapter 2 gets a 5/5 from me. I haven’t had this much fun at a movie in a while.

Hopefully this was alright and I didn’t ramble too much, now if you’ll excuse me I hear Buckley’s and a nap calling my name.

Until next time!


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