MOVIES.

A QUIET ACHIEVER RE­TURNS, WITH SO MUCH STILL TO SLAY DIREC­TOR: CHAD STA­HEL­SKI (JOHN WICK) STAR­RING: KEANU REEVES, COM­MON, LAU­RENCE FISH­BURNE, RIC­CARDO SCA­MAR­CIO, RUBY ROSE, PETER STOR­MARE RAT­ING:

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE CONTENTS - WITH LEIGH PA AT SC H KEANU REEVES RE­VIS­ITS HIS ROLE AS AN AS­SAS­SIN YOU DEF­I­NITELY DON’T WANT TO MESS WITH IN JOHN WICK: CHAP­TER 2.

n their heart of hearts, most ac­tion fans had 2014’s sur­pris­ingly good John Wick marked down as a bit of a fluke. Those same folks will there­fore be ex­pect­ing the sequel to be a bit of a let­down.

Noth­ing can be fur­ther from the truth. In fact, the re­turn of a per­fectly-cast Keanu Reeves as the ti­tle char­ac­ter – a black-suited, blank-faced as­sas­sin with a pe­cu­liarly colour­ful code of ethics – is noth­ing short of a trashy tri­umph.

When we last saw him, Johnny W was about to re­tire, hav­ing ruth­lessly re­duced the ranks of the Rus­sian Mafia for killing his dog and steal­ing his car.

As Chap­ter 2 com­mences – with a lengthy pre-cred­its se­quence worth the price of ad­mis­sion in its own right – it is only a few days later.

There is one par­tic­u­lar Russki that John for­got to deal with. He still holds the keys to John’s fave set of wheels.

The two gen­tle­men ex­change mul­ti­ple un­pleas­antries, share a drink, and com­plete the trans­fer of own­er­ship with shock­ing ef­fi­ciency.

No sooner is that mat­ter set­tled, and John is forced back into the ter­mi­na­tion game at the be­hest of a fel­low as­sas­sin to whom he owes a favour.

What John must do is not nearly as im­por­tant as how he does it: all you need to know is ev­ery heavy-duty hench­per­son he helps to an early grave had it com­ing.

While the bare-bones plot­ting of Chap­ter 2 ush­ers in a Euro­pean change of prin­ci­pal lo­cale as its only prom­i­nent point of fresh busi­ness, the script does a fine job of clev­erly ex­pand­ing upon the most in­trigu­ing el­e­ments of the first pic­ture.

Many of these are re­lated to the mys­te­ri­ous rules, reg­u­la­tions and choices of five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion that gov­ern the be­hav­iour of Mr Wick and his in­dus­try peers when they are “off the clock”.

Make no mis­take: while John Wick: Chap­ter 2 is junk of the high­est or­der, it is also junk that doesn’t set­tle for sec­ond-best when it comes to ser­vic­ing the wants, needs and cu­riosi­ties of its tar­get au­di­ence.

The sheer amount of ob­vi­ous craft and sly ex­per­i­men­ta­tion fed into the mix by direc­tor Chad Sta­hel­ski and his team just can­not be taken for granted at any junc­ture.

Al­lur­ing vi­su­als and au­da­cious com­bat chore­og­ra­phy are im­pec­ca­bly fused to­gether, to the ex­tent this could be the most beau­ti­ful blud­geon-fest ever filmed.

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