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John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

March 2, 2017

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Common
Director: Chad Stahelski (John Wick)

Bottom Line: The thing about willingly going to see John Wick: Chapter 2 is that it should be impossible to walk out of the theater unsatisfied. If you liked the first movie, I dare you not to like this sequel. It’s more of the same, delivering the nonstop action and awesome choreography we saw in the first film, all while building on the secret universe of the “hit man.”

One day after ripping Keanu Reeves as a dramatic actor, I have to give him credit for being pretty great in action flicks. Obviously, he was perfect for the role of Neo in The Matrix and again he has found a very suitable role in John Wick – not much dialogue and lots of ass-kicking. That’s a good fit for Keanu Reeves. The rest of the acting in this movie is solid at best and tolerable at worst. I’m not familiar with Riccardo Scamarcio at all, but I enjoyed him as the main villain in this movie. Common is one of my favorite rappers of all-time, but I don’t really understand his acting career. I’ve seen him in up to six different movies and he’s never impressed me in the slightest and I doubt he’s much of a box office draw, and yet, he continues to get cast year after year. Well, it finally happened: I liked Common’s performance in John Wick: Chapter 2. I was so shocked by this revelation that I had to check the credits to make sure it was actually him. I just couldn’t believe he could pull off a bad ass so convincingly. He plays an assassin rival/peer of John, hired to kill him, and he’s actually a ruthlessly cold and formidable dude. There’s a gun fight that takes place in a subway between John Wick and Cassian that had me rolling in laughter.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is how sequels are supposed to be done: expanding on the original’s story while delivering all the fun stuff that made the first film so enjoyable. Director Chad Stahelski completely understands his audience and gives them exactly what they want, developing a legitimate action franchise that isn’t going to die any time soon.

Replay Value: I haven’t seen the first one a second time yet, but these movies are fun enough to watched multiple times.
Sequel Potential: Chapter 2 is going to gross more than twice as much as the original – this won’t be the last time we hear from John Wick.
Oscar Potential: Keanu Reeves for Best Actor! Nope. This is a simple action movie that is not shooting for any awards.

Grade: 7/10 (highly enjoyable)

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