When a movie does as well as John Wick, you can absolutely expect a sequel. Who are we kidding, you know it’s immediately going to be slated for a trip to franchise island. Knowing that, it’s difficult to see how to improve on the wholesale carnage, humor and heart of a movie meant to be a stand-alone.
John Wick comes out the gate crushing any notion it’s going to rest on its laurels. The opening sequences are action packed and just as brutal yet still in keeping with that irreverent humor that cemented the original as a fan favorite. The fights sequences are close contact and bone cracking. The fighting styles (Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and wicked gun play) have been kicked up a serious notch and the body count hits a new level. Rest easy, his new dog is alive and well.
Chapter 2 delightfully wastes no time in resolving the original storyline in violent but hysterically awkward fashion. The recap by Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare) reminds you of his reputation as Baba Yaga amongst the Russians and quickly brings you up to date – he owns a chop shop; do I really need to tell you why John’s there? – without over burdening you with unnecessary dialogue or scenes. It also firmly establishes this as a step up across the board from the original movie.
Of course, such a quick divorce from the reason for his violent reentry into the murderous world of – seriously – organized crime begs the question: What the hell is there to disturb John’s retirement now?