I think we can all agree: at one point or another, we all wanted to be John Wick (Keanu Reeves), kicking someone’s ass in an act of revenge. As humble, law abiding citizens we can only live our fantasies out in our heads, pretending we were James McAvoy in ‘Wanted.’ It’s that time again, to relive that absurd fantasy.
The second film expands on the lore of the first, creating a more dynamic world, with lots of interesting and shady characters. John finds Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) at his door, reminding him that he has a contract called a ‘Marker.’ This contract is one of the two laws that must never be broken: No fighting on the Continental ground and Markers must be honoured. John completes the contract which is to kill Santino’s sister so he can have her place at the ‘high table,’ which is a council of the most powerful crime lords. Afterwards, Santino back-stabs John by placing a hit on his head. John doesn’t take betrayal lightly and seeks revenge.
You can already guess what happens next, it is a repeat of the first film, with better action sequences, more of it, and brilliant edits. The plot is more intricate, which makes it more entertaining, and the background lore gives you something to mull over in between scenes. The dialogue can be almost cliche at points, with each character lacking a lot of personality in their words. This seems to be largely understandable, given the type of film that it is, but at times it feels though they have made it all quite bland to avoid risks. It is certainly not ‘Pulp Fiction‘ material which isn’t expected, but it would be nice to have heard something other than, ‘He’s the boogeyman, don’t mess with him,’ mantra which keeps being repeated throughout. We get it, he’s a bad ass.
I particularly like the mirror scene which was like watching, ‘Enter The Dragon,’ but with guns. John is given enough formidable opponents to injure him multiple times which add to the sense of realness, despite the annoyingly oblivious citizens of Rome that never noticed bullets flying past their heads. If you can get past some of the films silly parts, then you are in for one hell of a ride. This is definitely a step in the right direction and there will be the third film in the future no doubt.