John Wick: Chapter 2 Review | The Hollywood Redux Podcast | Episode 407
From New York to Rome, there will never be enough bullets to stop The Boogieman! Keanu returns as the titular character in reliable action franchise, John Wick: Chapter 2. Explore the world of shadowy Assassin’s Guild with Hollywood Redux Podcast hosts Matt, Kryzzalia and Michael in NEW episode review.
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Picking up right where the first film left off, we catch up with John as he needs to complete the last part of his revenge story left over from chapter one, retrieving his badass Mustang that was stolen. After learning of his cars location inside the garage of Viggo Tarasov’s (Michael Nyqvist) brother, Abram, played by Peter Stormare. John goes on a rather quiet and discrete (for John) killing spree in hopes to drive away with his wheels without bringing down too much heat on him. This sets the tone for the entire film, setting up action sequence after sequence in a true ballet of death and destruction guaranteed to please the inner action fans in all of us.
Getting to see more of the underground world of the assassins in this film is one of the most pleasurable parts throughout the movie. There is an entire montage of John getting his new suits, intel and the coolest wine tasting of all time with Sommelier, played by Peter Serafinowicz. This film packs in so many gun fights that go on for a long time and still manages to deliver a fully coherent and enjoyable story at the same time. We’re sorry to say that most films in 2017 so far have the issue of not delivering on story and sacrificing it for VFX or an action sequence. John Wick: Chapter 2 delivers and fires on all cylinders.
Hats off to Keanu and the rest of the cast for trying to do the majority of their own stunt work throughout the film, we also want to give a nod to the film’s stunt team. John Wick is a great example of a film using practical stunts and effects to the screen that bring the action to life and add weight to a film that may otherwise seem a bit silly in its abundance of violence.
Shortly after the events of John Wick, former hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) tracks down his stolen Mustang at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov, brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef from the first film. After dispatching Abram’s men, John spares him under the auspices of “peace” and returns home with his now-heavily damaged car (bashed while making his escape).
Later, John is visited by Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who has come to enlist John to assassinate his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini) so he can take her seat on the “High Table,” a council of high-level crime lords. John is obligated to accept after returning from retirement because D’Antonio holds a “marker,” signifying a blood oath John took for help in his “impossible task” to leave the criminal world and marry his late wife Helen. After John refuses, D’Antonio destroys his home with rocket-propelled grenades. Winston (Ian McShane), the owner of the Continental hotel in New York City, warns John that if he refuses to accept the marker, his life will be forfeited. John reluctantly accepts the mission.
In Rome, John infiltrates a party where, confronted with her assassination, Gianna chooses to commit suicide rather than allow herself to be assassinated. After a firefight with Gianna’s bodyguard Cassian (Common), John is ambushed by D’Antonio’s men in an apparent double-cross to tie up “loose ends.” John escapes and again encounters Cassian. Their brutal fight is halted when the two crash through a window of the Rome Continental, where no “business” or bloodshed is permitted. Cassian vows revenge for Gianna’s death regardless of the fact that John was “working” at the time.
After John returns to New York City, D’Antonio opens a $7 million contract for John’s death. John is repeatedly attacked by assassins once the existence of this contract becomes known. Cassian spots and confronts John once again at the subway but he is subdued quickly. John decides to spare his life out of professional respect. In desperation, John seeks help from the underground crime lord Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), who permits John safe passage to D’Antonio’s location at his museum.
John wages an assault on the museum, killing all of D’Antonio’s men and leavingAres alive (presumably to bleed out), but D’Antonio is able to escape to the Continental. D’Antonio makes it clear that he intends to seek indefinite refuge there, knowing its rules preclude killing on Continental grounds. John kills D’Antonio, breaking Continental rules. The next day, due to John’s actions, he is excommunicated, with the contract doubled and gone international. However, Winston delays John’s contract one hour to give him a head start. John tells Winston to warn everyone who comes after him that he will “kill them all.” As the clock starts, John flees past the watchful eyes of New York’s assassins, on the run with his faithful canine.
Release date: February 10, 2017 (USA)
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Production company: Thunder Road Pictures
Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Common, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne