John Wick is forced out of retirement by a former associate looking to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to aid him, Wick travels to Rome and does battle against some of the world’s most dangerous killers.
I was really hoping I would like this movie. I so enjoyed the first one. However, when the credits started to roll at the end I found myself wondering “What the fuck happened?”.
Be warned that the rest of this review might contain a spoiler or two.
One thing I really liked about the first movie was, as you can read in my review about that one, that it was a no bullshit, kill the bad guys and no emotional regrets, kind of movie. John Wick went all out for revenge and at the same time we got introduced into this cool world of assassins, safe havens, hidden “shops” for guns, classy tailors providing bullet proof costumes etc. etc.
In this movie he is forced onto a job by a real asshole. He is constantly reluctant and walks around with a sad puppy face all the time. Of course said asshole screws him halfway through the movie and that would have been a good time to start get back on track with some decent payback story but unfortunately the script writers thought otherwise. After some more of the same shit no one really wins in the end (although one of the two adversaries suffer a more “permanent” setback than the other).
Worse is that, in my opinion, in their eager to put together some crap drama this movie essentially screwed up the possibilities for a John Wick 3 unless they pull some rather big surprise rabbit out of the hat for that one.
There are plenty of action in the movie of course but also her I feel that it was a bit too over the top. No one, absolutely no one, seems to be able to shoot straight except for John Wick. This makes the action feel more like a parody a’la Kill Bill than a more serious action, revenge movie. Yes it is cool to watch but only up to a point. Heck, if this would have been a Star Trek (TOS) episode Hollywood’s entire supply of red shirts would have been used up on a single movie. While I am bitching I should perhaps also mention that the amount of beating that John Wick seems to be able to absorb is … unbelievable.
I did enjoy the movie but not at all as much as I hoped I would. To me it has a completely different spirit than what I remember from the first one and the ending is, again to me at least, not a happy one.
Having said that the action sequences are as cool, crazy but cool, and violent as they are unbelievable. I found it a bit sad that they wrecked his nice car though.
Overall a enjoyable movie but no match for the first chapter and I cannot bring myself to give it more than 3 out of 5 stars.
Update: I re-watched John Wick (the first chapter) the other evening and wow. The first one is so good. This one is indeed quite a lot inferior to the first one. How someone can say that the two movies are consistent is beyond me.