Who’d have thought that the murder of a puppy would mark the start of a viable franchise?
2014’s John Wick was a surprise hit about a highly skilled assassin who took a break from retirement to seek revenge on the Russian criminals responsible for the death of his pet. By the end of the movie, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) adopted a new dog, which symbolised the fact he’d found some emotional closure.
Chapter 2 – which again has the in-demand Chad Stahelski behind the camera after impressing with the original – sees Wick once again forced out of retirement by a former associate (Riccardo Scamarcio), who wants the legendary assassin to go to Rome and kill the head of the mafia, which is also incidentally his sister.
Bound by a blood oath, which he’s obliged to honour by the rules of a secret organisation that he’s a member of, Wick reluctantly accepts, but things don’t quite go as planned.
Keanu trained tirelessly in a number of martial arts for the role, as well as dedicating a lot of time to using firearms, and it’s clear his commitment to the character has paid off and resulted in something quite spectacular. At the age of 52, he appears to be effortlessly pulling off similar moves to the ones we saw him do eighteen years ago in The Matrix – just less gravity defying. In fact, his The Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne makes a welcome appearance in this too.
Overall, John Wick: Chapter 2 is surprisingly superior to its predecessor, with slicker stunt choreography, a higher human body count and zero animal deaths.
If you didn’t like the first film then you probably won’t like this, but regardless of whether you love or hate it, one thing’s for sure – John Wick is likely to return soon. With the film’s finale leading up to what should be an epic third chapter (it’s also going to take more at the box office than the first film), then another instalment is inevitable if Keanu’s still up for the job.
And after this it’s fingers crossed that he does – as no-one in recent memory can hold a candle to his Wick.
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Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ian Mcshane, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Common, Riccardo Scamarcio, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Serafinowicz & Laurence Fishburne,
Running Time: 2 Hrs 2 Mins
Director: Chad Stalhelski [youtube id=”_yk7K8-HnfI” width=”600″ height=”350″]
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Watch John Wick: Chapter 2 and much more at Showcase Cinema De Lux, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas’.