John Wick: Chapter 2 Review

John Wick: Chapter 2

It was acceptable in the eighties.

Mindless action films that is, roided up Arnold Schwarzeneggers and Sylvester Stallones running and shooting their way through increasingly ridiculous plots while an endless supply of nameless and bullet riddled extras stack up on the side-lines.

I thought this kind of movie had been consigned to the past, but it seems the makers of John Wick: Chapter 2 didn’t get the memo.

We begin like any good action movie does, with an elaborate car chase.

Then it’s all about the build-up, as some mafia don tells us about the incredible feats of John Wick, making him out to be some sort of super assassin bogeyman while we hear him kick, and punch, and stab and shoot his way closer to said don’s office.

And just in case you missed that bit about wick being the bogeyman, some unhelpful and bizarrely dated subtitles pop up to ram this message home.

With the closest thing resembling a plot safely out of the way, we can get back to some more action sequences as Keanu Reeves and his bionic knees bounce up from cars repeatedly crashing into him at high speed.

I guess it was at this point that I stopped caring, less than five minutes into John Wick 2, as it was already entirely divorced from reality and blindingly obvious that Reeves would come to no real harm.

Leaving me to strap myself in and try to enjoy the ride.

To be fair, John Wick 2 is just about as well made as it could be, with Reeves throwing his hat into the ring to be the next Liam Neeson.

Although Keanu really needs to work on his cinematic running style before he can tick that age-defying box.

There are plenty of on screen reunions too, as Peter Stormare from Constantine and – more notably – Laurence Fishburne share a scene or two with Reeves.

You don’t even need to have seen the first John Wick to make sense of this film, as I can readily testify to.

Of course, this is because John Wick 2 hardly makes any sense to begin with.

Usual action film rules apply here, which means anyone who’s face is famous enough to recognise is going to survive until the next franchise instalment.

And don’t get too attached to anyone whose face you don’t know.

In the eighties, when such predictable fare was common, you could understand this.

In 2017, where tv has long since overtaken cinema as the premier entertainment medium, it feels like a relic from another age.

Seeing as everyone seems to want to go back to the eighties anyway, I guess there should be a market for this kind of brainless action vehicle.

If only there was a market for a Constantine sequel, so we could once again see Reeves in something genuinely interesting.

Jonathan Campbell

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