Thursday, February 16, 2017

John Wick 2 - Movie Review

Starring Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Franco Nero, Lance Reddick, Claudia Gerini, Peter Stormare, Peter Serafinowicz and Thomas Sadowski.
Written by Derek Kolstad.
Directed by Chad Stahelski.


Maybe not as good as the first one, as it trades in an emotional hook (they killed his dog!) for non-stop action. But I still enjoyed it.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves), after getting revenge for the death of his dog, is ready to re-retire and enjoy a quiet life with his new dog. But his recent activities have caught the attention of an old acquaintence who holds his marker. In the world of underground assassins, they have a code of conduct, and one is that you must always honor a marker. A marker is a job you owe someone, and this acquiantence Santino (Riccardo Scamarcio) wants to Wick to assassinate his sister, a powerful crime boss.

This movie takes us further in this world and expands it. A good deal of it takes place in Rome, and it turns out they have their own Continental Hotel, where assassins can rest and refuel.

What I liked most about this movie was Common, as an assassin named Cassian. Cassian and John Wick are equals, and their fight scenes are evenly matched. It's the most effective Common has ever been in a movie.

(Side-note: For what it's worth, my wife was bored and said it was like watching someone else play a shoot-em-up video game for two hours.)


I also recently saw...

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR (★★) Starring Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt.

A Snow White sequel without Snow White turns out to be a bad idea. It feels like the same misguided thinking behind that James Franco in Oz movie. Why have three gorgeous actresses revolve around a less interesting male hero? It retains some of the elements that made the first movie enjoyable, but I really don't get why the producers thought this approach would work.

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