It might be many months delayed for Australia but John Wick: Chapter 2 is finally due for release this week and we got a preview session.
First, if you haven’t seen the first John Wick then don’t bother with this review. Matter of fact, don’t try and see the second one at all. The sequel picks up more or less where the first one ends and it outright assumes you saw it. There is maybe 2-3 sentences that roughly mention what happened but beyond that, it’s like picking up a book and reading from a third of the way through.
John Wick 2 is in every way a sequel, it’s bigger, louder, with a more stylised feel over the first one. While the first movie was slick with many grand scale action backdrops the sequel manages to go bigger with only a slight increase in the budget ($40m) over the first ($30m).
We don’t really need to go into the plot too much but effectively where the first film gave us a taste of the assassin/hitman world of John Wick with the Continental Hotel and those gold coins the return to this world goes deeper. We get a sense of the scale of the world and the rules that it adheres to, mostly due to John Wick coming along and breaking them.
For a film with such a high focus on action, there isn’t a shortage of big names either. While most will focus on the Neo/Morpheus reunion with Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves, there are definitely some moments with ex-pat Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black) as a mute bodyguard that make you wish the movie could fit more in.
Unfortunately, there is no way to fit more into this movie. Running for about 120 minutes (20 minutes longer than the first) with action sequences almost non-stop this is a movie that deserves its MA rating with the amount of cannon fodder being set Keanu’s way only to be shot in the face. Not to mention he can do with a pencil.
The best way to explain John Wick 2 is when you have a First Person Shooter and you play it over and over and get completely awesome at it. Then a sequel to it comes out with online play and you see someone else play it that makes you look like you should stick with Mario Kart. That is what John Wick 2 is to John Wick.
Overall this is a solid sequel to the first that delivers more of what we liked about the first (with zero puppies being harmed) and potentially allowing for more. You might even benefit from rewatching the first before jumping into the cinemas to see the continuation.
John Wick: Chapter Two hits Australian cinemas this Thursday, 18th of May. If you are quick we are also still giving away 5 in-season double passes to John Wick 2 good for use at participating cinemas Australia wide for you to win. Competition ends May 17 at midday AEST