There’s something so intriguing about films like these that have such extreme violence that appeal to what people would say is a base instinct of humanity. Most, like TAKEN or THE EXPENDABLES, have tons of action but it doesn’t feel real, and that’s where the JOHN WICK franchise differs from the aforementioned. That’s a testament to the filmmaking prowess of the director, Chad Stahelski, a stuntman himself, who also co-directed the first JOHN WICK film.

What made that movie so magical was the style and grace that was given to the violence. CHAPTER 2 continues where the first left off, and keeps the plot relatively simple, letting the action come naturally. The only thing that was missing for me was a forward sense of motion or momentum in the plot. Some scenes lingered too long, and CHAPTER 2 drops into the pitfalls of other sequels, in that it feels like a setup for whatever CHAPTER 3 will be. 

But that’s not to take away from any of the brilliant action sequences that peppered the movie. Just when I think a scene can’t be topped, my mind is blown away, just like many of Wick’s enemies. It’s an audio and visual assault on the senses. CHAPTER 2 is incredibly directed, and reminiscent of old school Jackie Chan movies, where the camera holds on an action sequence and only cuts for a punch/kick/knife/bullet’s impact, where our protagonist shows pain and humanity, where the stunt team is well trained and it’s really the main actors performing the stunts.

Keanu’s acting and jarringly silent scenes are keeping me from putting this in my Best of the Best category, but the action scenes are enough to eventually own this movie, so it can live on my shelf next to the first movie.


(refer to my rating system here)