John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Review

Director: Chad Stahelski

Genre(s): Action, Crime, Thriller

Runtime: 122 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

In 2017, John Wick returned to the big screen once again to continue shooting dozens of people in the face. If this premise excites you, you may want to check this sequel out. However, if you’re expecting something – anything – more than that, think twice. This time, super-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself once again performing the duties of a hitman when he’s forced to kill a target in Italy due to a blood debt.

The John Wick franchise is starting to have a why-should-I-care? problem at this point. The events in the first film (that I won’t spoil here) lit a fire under the main character that propelled him on his quest for revenge. In the opening scenes of this picture, on the other hand, he’s savagely killing henchmen over a car. Okay, it’s a little more than just any car, but the reasons for the mass slaughter just keep getting more and more impersonal as the movie goes on.

The action sequences are elaborately staged, but feel oddly sterile. The blood is all almost entirely computer-generated (and obviously fake), the choreography (which can get a bit repetitive) heavily favors the titular character, innocent bystanders never seem to be harmed by the chaos going on around them, and there’s virtually no emotional punch. John Wick: Chapter 2 basically just limps from one excuse for action to another until its two hours are up.

This entry into the series is also where the worldbuilding goes from intriguing to preposterous. The universe that these shadowy killers live in is hopelessly convoluted. Ultimately, even the silliest of action movies need a solid emotional hook to grab the audience and keep their attention. John Wick: Chapter 2 largely lacks that, making the big-body-count madness feel meaningless.

My rating is 6 outta 10.

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