I just witnessed Chapter 2 of the sad saga of John Wick starring Keanu Reeves. The original film was also directed by Chad Stahelski. I saw Chapter 1 on October 24, 2014, a mere 27 months ago and little has improved or changed. The writing is atrocious and tired. The action is average and over-wrought.
The next four paragraphs were part of my review in 2014, and sadly, they are still accurate for John Wick: Chapter 2. That’s beyond sad; that’s downright embarrassing. But to save time and ink, I cut and pasted the next four paragraphs from my review of “John Wick” 2014, and I’m dying if I’m lying, every stinking word is true and relevant.
“Lucky for the world, ex-hitman John Wick, had retired from killing other humans for a living. But that does not mean that John Wick doesn’t still have a large stash of serious weapons and a special set of skills that rivals Bryan (Liam Neeson) Mills. Now let’s get something straight now; I did not say that he had more skills than Bryan Mills, but I am saying that within ten yards, John Wick has superior skills with a pistol – two to the body and one to the head. John Wick’s reloads are a thing of beauty.
Please notice that I am not comfortable calling him “Wick” or “John.” One should always refer to this character as John Wick. You don’t have to call him Mr. Wick and dang sure better not call him “Johnny.” This very uptight John Wick is grieving the recent loss of his wife, and then a Ruskie goes so far as to steal his 1969 Boss Mustang. And I can’t even mention the fate of his adorable puppy. A man can only take so much.
Keanu Reeves competently plays an angry assassin with a stylized beard and near-constant music in the background. The crowds will show up to see Reeves in this homicidal role, but keep your expectations in check. Sadly, this is a mediocre film that will do well at the box office, but Director Chad Stahelski, who is primarily known for his talent as a stunt coordinator, should stick with what he knows best.
Now that I think about it, this movie had outstanding stunts. I’ll give you that, Chad. However, the story lacked intrigue and passion; especially if you don’t count killing more than 40 bad guys at almost point-blank range as passionate. John Wick is set on revenge and felt completely justified for mass slayings. And I repeat: ‘don’t mess with a man’s car or dog.’”
I stand corrected; this time his 1969 Boss Mustang was badly damaged not stolen. Wow, not sure I can handle the excitement and originality.
The laziness in making this movie is gargantuan. I trust K. Reeves got his money up front.
Is there a big winner, Larry H, you ask? Well yes, there is. Common plays a pseudo bad guy that can kick and shoot almost as fast as John Wick. Almost. Common is the 44 year-old who started out as a rapper and has transitioned into a good actor. I first met Common when he co-starred as Elam Ferguson in AMC’s “Hell on Wheels” (2011-2014).
Do not bother to see this retread. Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 69. Larry H.