John Wick Chapter 2 Reviewed By Jarred Tito

The Premise
After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.

The Review
A ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’, brutal action, symphony. When you find out that Chad Stahelski, the director, was Keanu Reeves stunt double in the Matrix trilogy you begin to understand why John Wick - Chapter Two, is the gun slinging, double the action, bullet spraying onslaught that it is. Imagine taking all of the coolest Matrix action shooting scenes from each of the Matrix movies and slotting them all in, back to back, in one action feature film (gunned down bodies and all). Then add a muscle car verses super bikes showdown, a lot of pyrotechnics, explosions and fire. Use the bare minimum amount of dialogue required to carry a plot, then rap it all up in a bath full of blood and you’ll begin to get the picture of what this film is all about. 

Aside from the stray piece of conversation here and there, it’s essentially non-stop action that will have you squirming and clinching your teeth, covering your eyes while marveling at some of the stunts and antics that the modern action movies now provide in just about every second scene. Like a ‘war game’ or a ‘grand theft auto’ type game that you might have played or seen on Xbox or PlayStation, JW2 takes you through a maze of shooting and arm to arm fight scenes. The action is very primal by nature and is completely centered around Keanu’s character and his quest to obtain his final freedom from the hideous under-world of espionage and political assassinations. 

Apparently, Keanu Reeves spent a serious amount of time training for this film. In fact, I saw him in a training sequence on YouTube, six months ago. He was quite impressive. He was using real bullets in a staged gun training arena. The kind that you see in the movies that have the baddies with guns pop up from behind windows and the competitor has to gun them down. Reeves, in this particular sequence goes through the course using a combination of hand-guns, rifles and automatic weapons to shoot down his targets. He’s quite fast and very accurate. Now I’m quite sure that for the film he’s not using real bullets like in training, but I must say it all looks quite convincing. The support cast is made up of the usual bad guy types that are easily forgotten, especially the gun-firing extras because there’s about thousand of them. Well maybe not a thousand but certainly enough for me to give up counting.

Reeves himself, plays his role as though he has suffered some serious brain damage. He speech is always slow and his eyes seem to be set in a continual state of wonder, not like a scientist but more like the ‘stoned’ guy from years ago when he acted in Bill and Ted. I was never sure if he was playing this for the character of if this is just how Keanu is now? In contrast his action acting is lightning fast and masterful, and is completely watchable.   

The Verdict
Definitely not for the weak-hearted but definitely for those who love action and gun fights. If you enjoyed John Wick then you will love John Wick, Chapter 2. It is a genuine second chapter and follows directly on from the first installment. I enjoyed it for the most part and would gladly recommend a viewing.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 18th May 2017
Rating: TBC
Duration: 123 minutes 
Genre:  Action, Thriller
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose
Director: Chad Stahelski (John Wick)

The Extras
Keanu performed about 95% of the fight scenes himself. The only stunts that he didn't do are the ones in which John Wick gets hit by a car, and fell down the stairs during the fight with Cassian (Common).

To prepare for the role, Keanu trained for three months. His training consisted of Judo, Jujutsu, guns, and driving.

This film's director was a stunt man in the Matrix trilogy, in which Keanu Reeves played the main character.

The DJ performing at the party in Rome is "Le Castle Vania" who wrote music for both John Wick movies.

John Wick is intended to be a trilogy, this film being the second in that trilogy.

This is the first time Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves worked together since The Matrix Revolutions (2003).

Director Chad Stahelski was Keanu Reeves' stunt double in the Matrix trilogy.