John Wick 2: Perfect Combo of Violence and Comedy
Directed By: Chad Stahelski
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Common, Claudia Gerini
Writers: Derek Kolstad
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 122 Minutes
Synopsis: After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.
Back and Better Than Ever
John Wick 2 might possibly be the best Impossible White Man movie ever made. The violence is glorious, the comedy is perfectly timed, and Wick (Keanu Reeves) who we first me in 2014 as the most dangerous dog lover in history, is back out of retirement (again) and is more ruthless and violent than the myths we heard about him in the first film.
Wick who is just trying to enjoy retirement in piece with his new dog and new crib, gets a visit from an old acquaintance who came to cash in on John’s marker. A marker is an oath that assassins give to each other for a favor that they can later use to have someone kill anyone they ask for. Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) is the smug, rich, douchebag who wants his sister Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini) killed so he can have a “seat at the table”. Wick coming off the crazy adventure from the first film is content in retirement and has to be forced to uphold this marker. John then takes a trip to Rome where he goes after his target and encounters Cassian (Common) an old friend who leads a team to take down Wick.
From this point the violence and deaths are creative, and fantastically fatal. Wick finds every way possible to kill his adversaries including proving the myth from the first film involving a pencil to be true. Wick has become the most impossible of impossible white men surpassing Liam Neilson, Bruce Willis and Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves does it so believable. When watching this film you absolutely believe that these people have no chance to kill John Wick and only when he meets Cassian do you think think their is even a remote chance of success.
John Wick’s Subtle Comedy Makes the Film
In most action films the comedy is corny and poorly timed but this film is an exception. The painful ways Wick kills his enemies, the facial expressions of the staff at the Continental, and the witty confidence John expresses to his adversaries creates a balance of violence and comedy thats unmatched. Keanu Reeves has been in comedies before but he does comedy here with a complete straight face which makes it that much funnier. The characters all know that nobody can really compete with Wick when he is motivated so the henchman who just run blindly after Wick almost certainly to meet their doom, present the audience with anticipation of the next brutal, bone chilling death that almost always make you laugh and squirm in your seat at the same time. Wick, who practiced shooting for real in competition to prepare for this role, killed more people than the first film and did it without a car and often without a gun.
Death is Beautiful
Director Chad Stahelski took all the great things from the first film and added a bit more humor and some beautiful cinematography that makes the killing so much better. From the backdrop in Rome to the final fight scene in an art exhibit, the camera angles, lighting, color palette and fight choreographers are second to none in this genre. Last year we might have saw two of the most beautiful films of all time in Jungle Book and Dr. Strange, this film is not on that level but took some of those features and incorporated it in this film.