John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick: Chapter 2 ★★★★★

Nope, I don't imagine I'll like anything more than this for the rest of the year.

Guys, John Wick Chapter 2 is why I love movies. This is a sequel that builds; within itself, off what came before it, and for what is still to come alike. One criticism that I might give the [literally perfect] original John Wick is that its big finale is somewhat undermined by the incredible nightclub sequence that precedes it in the second act. One could say it "blew it's load too early," if they were into saying generic criticisms like that. That can't be applied to John Wick 2, however. As this film unfolds, each sequence tears the last one to bits (but in a more sincere way than that sounds). I don't want to give away anything too specific for those unfortunates who won't get a chance to see it this weekend, but car chase->cave->the nighttime streets of New York->mirrors. It's. Fucking. Perfect. Not only does each individual sequence succeed in being different from each in the previous installment, but it succeeds in being different from anything ever. And where would these sequences be without the slick neon lighting, and continuous encapsulating wide shots -- I live for that shit! (One sequence takes place at an actual neon-lit opera and it's the best visual metaphor ever). John is a man of focus, commitment, etc., yes, but also a man of pathos, regret, and legitimate unruly characterization. Every single shot holds a weight and a history. Every headshot and brutal beating holds a comforting catharsis. People, things, operations, weave in and out of John's journey in a sense of complete normality. World-building hasn't been this immaculate since, I dunno, Star Wars? Everything is just so fucking cool, I don't know how else to describe it, sorry. The final series of shots had my jaw on the floor. John Wick Chapter 2 is true cinema; a film where gripping original storytelling and characterization, and breathtaking visual style collide like fluid poetry. This is a sequel for the ages.

I'm not done writing about this, because I'm positive I will see it many, many more times.

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