Second John Wick twice as good

Monday May 22, 2017 Written by Published in Entertainment
A scene from the movie John Wick 2, now screening at the Empire Cinema. 17051913 A scene from the movie John Wick 2, now screening at the Empire Cinema. 17051913

Just the other day when things became a bit tedious at work, we entertained ourselves to a mini debate on how good an actor Keanu Reeves is.

 

There were mixed reactions from my colleagues.

One said Reeves was his favourite while the other complained how he wasn’t that good.

To support his argument, the latter talked about his facial expressions to various emotions on screen. Interestingly, they are quite similar.

Reeves seems to be a serious guy with a serious look. Sometimes you just can’t determine from his facial expressions whether he is angry, happy or sad.

What is for sure though is that his look and style really suit him for action roles.

He delivers almost immaculate performances in movies with lots of fight scenes, blazing guns and blood spewing in almost every sequence.

Reeves might not be a critically-acclaimed actor like Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington or Leonardo DiCaprio who are able to pull virtually any role with ease, but he is in his own right a very talented actor.

In his latest movie, John Wick: Chapter 2, Reeves, who plays ex-hitman John Wick, shows why he is regarded one of the best in the action/thriller genre.

John Wick 2 begins right after the events of John Wick, which was released in 2014.

In the initial movie, Wick comes out of retirement to track down goons who took his two most prized possessions: They killed his puppy which was gifted by his now-deceased wife and stole his vintage 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1.

Then he runs into a Russian crime syndicate, which leads to an epic and thrilling climax.

In the latest in the series, Wick manages to get his Mustang back and makes peace with the Russian mob.

He hopes to get back on with his retirement, but Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), a powerful Italian crime lord, pays him a visit and tries to force him to perform an assassination.

After Wick declines, D’Antonio destroys Wick’s house which contained the memories of his dead wife.

Wick then reluctantly takes the mob man’s offer but soon discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life by D’Antonio.

In the earlier columns, I have complained how sequels are unable to keep up with the initial movie in terms of creativity and drama.

John Wick 2 hits the right chord in every facet and is an example of what sequels should look like.

The latest movie is better than the first in many ways.

The locations are more exotic, Hong Kong, I assume in the opening scenes, and Rome where most of the movie is based.

The tempo of the fighting scenes runs at extreme level, and the enemies are pretty extreme too. John Wick is like a video game which gets better and smarter at every level.

The way director Chad Stahelski carries on with the story from the first movie is also commendable.

In the opening couple of scenes, Wick’s character and his journey in the first instalment are vividly introduced by a Russian syndicate leader, allowing the audience to refresh their memory of John Wick.

And then Stahelski introduces another character, D’Antonio, who leads Wick back to the world he is running away from, forming the core of this movie.

Wick is like a hornet in its nest. You better be prepared to run if you are planning to stone the nest.

The climax in John Wick 2 is also cleverly shot in a massive mirror maze to keep the thrill levels high until the very end.

As the final scene suggests, there is a lot more left of John Wick and sure enough, it seems it will get only better.

In John Wick, the whole drama was over a puppy. In John Wick 2, it’s his life that is at stake. What more could you want?

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