Keanu Reeves has had a strange career. Every time you think he’s finally cashed in his chips as a viable leading man comes a movie that re-establishes his credentials. Over the last 25 years we’ve seen Speed, The Matrix and John Wick rejuvenate his status as a movie star. 2014’s John Wick was a lean and mean actioner that came out of nowhere to score decent box office ($45.7 million US and $88.8 million globally) and a serious cult following.
That success meant John Wick: Chapter 2 was a dead-cert and this sequel offers more of the same – but with added budget and even more wham, bam Keanu driven action. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This sequel out-grossed its predecessor, scoring $92 million in the US and $165 million worldwide, letting us know that we probably haven’t seen the end of Mr Wick.
A cool breeze blows through John Wick: Chapter 2, an unstoppable action driven plot that sees Reeves’ Wick drawn back into a violent underworld to pay off a debt. Things get violent and things get bloody, though Reeves’ looks good partaking in various ass-kicking, wearing nicely cut suits under the direction of Chad Stahelski. Reeves is joined by an interesting supporting cast that include Common, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Frank Nero and his old Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne. They don’t get an awful lot to go, but that add a bit of credibility to this film, which is effectively a 21st Century Charles Bronson revenge flick.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is as slick as it is silly and there’s a little too much…shooting. It all becomes a bit too monotonous, but it’s a far sight better than the comparative likes of Taken and its atrocious sequels. Reeves still has the chops, but I do wonder if the 52 year-old has a Dorian Gray-style portrait hiding in his loft.
Enjoyable as far as it goes, John Wick: Chapter 2 hits the mark, but it can’t out-run its pulpy roots. Sure, it’s stylish and enjoyable but it’s just a little too self-aware for its own good. Having said that, Keanu Reeves can command the screen – and I wouldn’t have said that 15 years ago! However, I want more wax and a little less wick by the time Chapter 3 rolls around.
John Wick: Chapter 2 comes with deleted scenes and a plethora of behind the scenes odds and ends that look at the film’s impressive action sequences. Good stuff.