Thugs light Wick’s fuse

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

JOHN Wick was an un­likely box of­fice hit, to say the least.

The story of a re­tired as­sas­sin who goes on a ram­page of re­venge af­ter thugs kill his dog was just bonkers enough and the ac­tion just fun enough to be sur­pris­ingly en­ter­tain­ing.

John Wick: Chap­ter 2 was never go­ing to be able to match the so-bad-it’s-good premise of the orig­i­nal so it doesn’t even try; in­stead, it be­gins with an ex­tended ac­tion piece in which a ter­ri­fied vil­lain sum­marises the plot of the orig­i­nal as Wick (Keanu Reeves) dispatches a con­veyor belt of face­less vil­lains to bring the au­di­ence back up to speed.

Once achieved, the film can set­tle into its new plot.

That’s not to say Wick doesn’t have to lose some­thing to find the right mo­ti­va­tion to once again come out of re­tire­ment.

This time it’s his house and, more im­por­tantly, his fam­ily pho­tos at the hands of Ital­ian crime boss Santino D’antonio (Ric­cardo Sca­mar­cio).

D’antonio forces Wick out of re­tire­ment to re­pay a debt but then makes the mis­take of try­ing to elim­i­nate him to tie up loose ends.

This paves the way for Wick to go on an­other vi­o­lent ram­page, elim­i­nat­ing thugs and would-be

as­sas­sins, in­clud­ing a silent Ares (Ruby Rose) and prin­ci­pled Cas­sian (Com­mon).

John Wick: Chap­ter 2 is the lat­est in a string of films in which age­ing ac­tors rein­vent them­selves as vi­o­lent ac­tion he­roes (Liam Nee­son in Taken, Kevin Cost­ner in 3 Days to Kill), but has man­aged to top them all.

It does this by never tak­ing it­self too se­ri­ously.

There is vi­o­lence and gore aplenty but it is so over-the-top and hy­per-stylised that it is likely to make view­ers laugh in­stead of cringe. It is also beau­ti­fully shot, again de­liv­er­ing orig­i­nal and colour­ful lo­ca­tions for its ac­tion pieces, in­clud­ing a dance party and mod­ern art mu­seum.

John Wick: Chap­ter 2 never strays too far from the story and style of the orig­i­nal but it doesn’t seem to mat­ter.

And just when you think the premise might get bor­ing, it de­liv­ers a jolt at the end that will have you wait­ing for Chap­ter 3.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chap­ter 2.

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