John Wick: Chapter 2
By far the best part of John Wick: Chapter 2 was when, after seeing a preview for a violent shoot 'em up, the woman next to me told her husband (boyfriend? date? brother? cousin? priest? therapist? hostage?) that she didn't like "movies with that much killing."
Really? And you're about to settle in for John Wick: Chapter 2, a two-full-hour hyperviolent shoot 'em/stab 'em/gut 'em/slash 'em/crush 'em/explode 'em up with a body count higher than the first half of the Iraq War? You dizzy bitch.
I'm sure it made sense to her in some tortured, Escher-esque female logic kind of way, and hey, at least she had the proverbial balls to see John Wick 2 and not the new 50 Shades. The Sisterhood could probably revoke her woman card for that shit.
A couple of years ago, John Wick became a surprise hit for two reasons. First, it featured a ton of practical stunt work - real cars crashing into real buildings, real people tumbling over real furniture - rather than whipping up all the action in a computer. Second, its plot was so simple even the dumbest, drunkest asstard could follow it.
Wick (Keanu "Whoa" Reeves) was a retired hitman mourning the very recent death of his beautiful wife. For no reason other than that he's a son-of-the-don prickboy, a Russian mafioso kills Wick's puppy - the one his dead wife gave him - and steals his car. Wick then proceeds to massacre pretty much the entire Russian mafia in a fit of righteous vengeance.
The story this time around adds exactly one wrinkle. The Italian mob forces Wick out of retirement by calling in a marker they gave him years ago. Well, that and by blowing up his house. As soon as Wick is done with the mob's job, they double cross him and send what seems like every assassin in NYC after him.
Playing once again to Reeves' someday-I'll-be-a-real-boy acting style, Wick is a methodical, mostly mute murder machine. He uses everything from pistols to pencils to ventilate an endless stream of henchmen. Wick's favorite move is shooting people in the face. Seriously, there are more headshots in John Wick: Chapter 2 than on all the computers at CAA.
One of the few credited henchmen is actually a henchwoman named Ares (Ruby "Tuesday" Rose). What the oversaturated fuck?! Did I miss the meeting of the Hollywood Rules Committee where it was decreed that Rose had to be in every fucking action movie - no exceptions? Just in the past month she's appeared in the new xXx, the new Resident Evil and now the new John Wick. I wouldn't be surprised to hear they made the rule retroactive and they're busy digitally adding her to Die Hard in time for the 30th Anniversary edition.
By calling it Chapter 2 and ending it with a setup for Chapter 3, director "Norman" Chad Stahelski and Neo obviously have a series in mind. They couldn't give less of a fuck that one limp Wick was more than enough.
February 17, 2017