Last week Thursday I went to see John Wick chapter 2 at the Dutch premiere. As Keanu Reeves’ fan I have waited two years for this sequel. Baba Yaga is back.
At the end of the first; John Wick survived the fight. The opening scene of Chapter 2 shows John Wick demanding his Mustang back from Tarasov’s cousin who kept it after Wick murdered Viggo and Iosef. This scene is clean, full of speed and action plus it is rather funny too.
The rest of the movie is filled with non-stop action of Wick as Baba Yaga (Boogeyman). I have not found the exact body count of men killed by Wick but it seems that it exceeds 77 corpses he made in part 1.
Well, to bring structure into this review I will tell the story first.
John Wick gets his Mustang back and wants to retire. Only an old acquaintance from Italy, Santino asks him for a service to murder his sister. John Wick declines in the first place but is eventually forced to accept the task because of the rules. He completes the task in Italy but Santino wants to destroy him anyway. It is not easy to retire calmly. At the end he chooses for himself and by doing so he is excommunicated from the underworld. That underworld is the most fascinating part of this film. It goes deeper in the complicated codes and rules of the underworld which is represented in The Continental, the hotel where assassins stay.
The movie itself is packed with actions; beautifully choreographed fight scenes shot in stunning locations (old castle in Roma, stylish art gallery and Calatrava’s station in New York). The finesse of being a highly demanded assassin; having your suits tailored made in Italy where in the tailor preserves hidden places to carry the weapons, shopping the weapons with an expert that reminds me of a highly skilled sommelier praising his wines.
The story itself is not that complexed and layered as part 1. I am rather disappointed. Sorry, this comparison is inevitable as the previous movie has set the bar so high. Or maybe because the nouveauté has gone now? Meanwhile we know who John Wick is. A ruthless assassin who is able to kill people with a pencil or simply with his bare hands.
Acting wise; well as Keanu Reeves’ fan I know he is not a character actor but Keanu keeps his cool the whole movie. Most importantly he still rocks the role as an action hero. Further mentions worth are Ian McShane as the Winston, the manager of The Continental and contact person of the round table and Laurence Fishburne as Bowery King. Ruby Rose as one of Santino’s posse is badass but her role is not as big as I expected. And her death in the movie is so…so…Not that I am bloodthirsty but in my eyes (influenced by my father’s view) villains in the movie must suffer terrible death.
So yes, Baba Yaga is back after he has avenged his dog in part 1. The end of Chapter 2 with John Wick being rid off the organisation holds the door open for possible part 3. Not that I need to see part 3 as Chapter 2 is not as good as the first. John Wick Chapter 2 is a string of fight scenes with more insights in the underworld he used to live in.