One of the biggest challenges successful films face is crafting a sequel that encapsulates all that made the original so memorable and exciting and delivering all that in a follow-up installment filled with freshness and novelty. John Wick Chapter 2 not only does that but it exceeds the expectations set by the fanbase and presents a film that delivers on both the sophisticated John Wick action we all hungered for since 2014 and on the world of Assassins that became such a point of intrigue in the first film, including the organisation known as the Continental. It pushes the boundaries of cinematic action and action-driven story telling into a work of art and what an art piece John Wick is to subject your time and attention into.
Chapter 2 follows on directly from the first film with John hunting down the Russian gang currently in possession of his vehicle that was stolen from him in the first film. Thanks to the whispers of his name and the echoes of his victims bodies hitting the floor, we are reminded instantaneous why we loved John Wick so much in Chapter 1. John Wick embodies that chill in the air causing ones hair at the back of their neck to stick up striking terror and unease within those affected. He serves as an unstoppable force driven by his ironclad determination. He is both the shadow behind you and the light in front of you. Once targeted, your fate is sealed. John Wick is terror incarnate.
The action is mesmerizing and characteristically elegant in how it flows. It let’s you sink into its substance opposed to bombarding you with camera cuts and shaky movements to mask the lack of quality behind the action. With John Wick you can appreciate the action for what it is with the wide screen captures that keeps distracting movements to a minimum only utilising movement to heighten the flow of the fight, be it through a throw or a stumble down stairs. That is how action focused films need to present themselves, in a way that respects the viewers standards and intellect not collapsing down to gimmicky set-pieces that only conveys a tendency to embrace tired and uninspiring choreography. The fights in John Wick are fresh, exciting, bold, dynamic, and exhilarating. No matter how many fights follow the one before, it is always moving forward towards an end goal with a purpose. As a result, the action becomes more than just action, it establishes itself as a story-telling device to convey the personality of a character and the wide-reach of the assassin world. Such intimate levels of the action in turn allows the audience to become further involved in the world of John Wick, which is why the two films out so far have been so well received by the public and critics.
The story in Volume 2 is more defined and structured than the path of revenge so spectacularly presented in Volume 1. I daresay the story in Volume 2 is even more exciting. In Volume 2, the world of Assassins and the rules that govern the world play a major part in driving the film, most notably the method in which John Wick utilised to escape that world. Of course the Continental features heavily in Volume 2 with the branch in Venice also being introduced and incorporated within the plot. We learn how far reaching the Assassin world can be and the level of strictness they place on governance by the rules and regulations. Outside that order though, we also learn of other factions existing. We didn’t get much coverage on those factions but that will likely change when John Wick Chapter 3 is released.
The Cinematography is once again outstandingly handled with how it utilises the setting of the scenes and the elegance of sound to craft moments that leave sublimely striking impressions within the viewer. Art plays a massive part in film, be it through the music, setting, choreography, costumes and lighting. Case in point the setting of the final scene.
Loved John Wick Chapter 2 immensely.
Enjoyment level 10/10