Nope, sorry. I really am. Wait, that’s what you were coming to ask, right? You want to know if it’s as good as the first one? What else can you possibly be wondering? What else is important in this world? What else fucking matters? A number of other things, as it turns out, but it doesn’t mean John Wick: Chapter 2 isn’t a very important and anticipated piece of cinema. I reviewed the first one after it came out and holy shit did I love it to bits. Immediately went and bought the DVD too. How could I not? I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised when the original John Wick stole the hearts of audiences everywhere and became a huge sensation. I’ve never heard an unkind thing spoken about the first movie because it was fucking awesome and if you disagree then you’re clearly wrong. The pure joy that I and millions of others felt when the second installment was announced is, just, well… hard to even describe. I wanted this to be good so bad. So goddamn bad. Now, okay, this movie’s good. The sequel, I mean. It’s good. Not even okay, it’s actually fully good. But just good. Only good. No more. Meaning that it is most assuredly incomparable to the first. On a brighter note, Ruby Rose fucking steals every single scene she’s in. Being honest, I should have guessed. I did have some predictions in the back of my mind, but the feeling of nausea they induced caused my brain to quickly shut that shit down. To even imagine John Wick: Chapter 2 not being that great was more than just unreasonable, it was fucking heresy. But here we are. This is separated into what feels like three movies — the first is John Wick 1.5, which is the best part and almost tricked me into thinking the whole thing would be good. This serves as more of an epilogue to the first film and seems to pick up exactly where we left off. And it’s awesome. Completely awesome. It’s after this epilogue comes to a close that John Wick: Chapter 2 begins to rapidly break down. The second “movie” of this movie is the actual job he gets and what leads up to it, which feels clunky every step of the way. They try to up the stakes and it’s just impossible, it was impossible from the start. Nothing could rival the cold, unbridled rage that sends John on his original rampage and it’s that same rage, that determination, that sense that John Wick is truly a revenant, the angel of vengeance to his own broken heart, that gives the first film its core. That feeling is nowhere to be found in the sequel. There was nothing more to take from the man who had nothing left to live for — not that it doesn’t clumsily try. John’s beautiful house is burned down and it doesn’t elicit the slightest sense of dread or remorse. No upping the ante, no raising the stakes. Just a tired attempt to make the plot of this movie relevant. We move on to a story about John carrying out a pretty normal job that is cited as “impossible” but ends up looking really easy, and then shit hits the fan. We’re moved on to the third movie of the movie. All the betrayal, all the stakes, and a rampage that tries to approximate the crusade of the first film. Spoiler, it doesn’t really. We do end up seeing a lot deeper into the organization that John works for, which is neat, but unfortunately, we see way too deep into it. Kinda like the faction system in Divergent, this underworld of rules, coins, and murder works better the less we know about it. By trying to give us more of it, it raises more and more questions, such as: If it costs one coin for a fucking drink, how good are those drinks? Because John Wick himself looked like he only had fifty at most in his stash. How frequently does he have to work if it costs a minimum of one coin for ANY service provided by the Continental? Also, what does the Continental… do? It seems like they’re some kind of league of assassins but that just can’t be the case. As we see in this movie, about 30% of the population of the planet fucking Earth is allied to the Continental or the High Council of Whatever (literally who knows what this is). If they’re all assassins then there are way, way too many assassins — for each of those assassins to get any amount of work would mean everyone on Earth would be dead but them. But if the Continental isn’t only assassins then what the fuck are they? What are they for? Ugh. Not as cool as it looks. Sadly, there is such a thing as too many assassins. The movie just starts falling apart. The action’s there, oh hell is it there. If you only liked the first for the action, you’ll like this one just fine. John fights miniboss after miniboss as endless droves of assassins come after him (oddly, the mortal fear of the mere mention of “John Wick” that we saw in the first film is totally absent in this one), and he takes his beatings and makes his way through as usual. The supporting cast varies wildly — the main villain is okay, but he is neither as punchable as Alfie Allen, nor really genuinely intimidating. He just is. Common is Common, I’m pretty certain I’ve seen him play this exact same character at least three other times. He’s okay. You might even say he’s… common (OH SHIT FUCK YEAH YOU SEE THAT SHIT YOU SEE THESE JOKES, DROPPIN’ MAD JOKES IN HERE). Ruby Rose as the deaf henchwoman-in-chief Ares is a real treat. I have no clue who she is but she made me have to google her (I guess she’s a… DJ? Model? Lot of stuff on the Wikipedia page. I dunno.) which says a lot on its own. She’s the kind of breath of fresh air that this movie needed more of. Instead, we get…. Mother of God. Sweet tangy BBQ Jesus, Laurence Fishbourne, holy shit he’s so fucking bad. What happened, Larry? Seriously what the fuck? I remember looking forward to seeing you. And this was a big role. You couldn’t bring anything to the table besides chewing on it? Oh boy. He’s thick as fuck from eating every piece of scenery he can find it this movie. In another movie it could have worked (probably not) but juxtapositioned against Keanu Reeves, who’s subtle underacting can be seen more as feeding and pampering the scenery than outright devouring it, the contrast is no less than absurd. Fishbourne overemotes and overexpresses every single line, every action. It’s just… ow. In a movie filled with head-scratchers and disappointments, he easily stands out as the element that stunk it up the worst. Fortunately, he isn’t in it for that long. My last major issue is the ending. Just… the whole ending. Cause it sucks bad. I get it, movie, you think you have it in the bag, you think you’ve got enough shekels for a whole trilogy. But that is not an excuse to chop your second movie off at the feet. I won’t go into detail about the ending for spoilers’ sake. But we’ll just say it was a big disappointment at the end of a movie that spent two hours trying and failing to capture the magic of the original. Again, it’s fine. It has great action, some good moments and lines, and a storyline with minimal outright stupidity. Viewed without high expectations it’ll be fine. If it were riding the coattails of a lesser movie, it’d be fine. But the way it is — tacked onto a genuine masterpiece of action filmmaking — it really can’t do anything but disappoint. Without the emotion, without the rage, without all the icy fury that bubbles under John’s skin with every life he mercilessly reaps, John Wick: Chapter 2 is ultimately just another action movie. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.