John Wick: Chapter 2 ★★★★½

Haunting, brutal, and operatically over-the-top, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 is essentially an existential action flick cum Greek tragedy about a man who wants life, but is only meant for death. That man is of course John Wick. Yes, the stunts and visceral set-pieces here are some of the finest you will ever lay your eyes on, simultaneously grounded in reality and heightened to the point of comedic abstraction, but it's actually the depth of feeling that emanates from the unlikeliest moments that took me off guard. I found myself getting emotional at multiple junctures. This is actually a profoundly sad movie, reminiscent of another bullet ballet that is obviously an influence here, John Woo's THE KILLER. John Wick is surrounded by pain and suffering no matter where he looks. He can't escape from what he is good at, which is killing without remorse. Who is the real villain here? Those that forced him back into the game and double crossed him or John's own failure to change? You can want something so bad you can taste it, yet if you are unwilling to confront the problem head on, nothing will truly be gained. Run as far as possible and try to escape your demons if you must, but the one thing you can't escape from is yourself. It's no coincidence the finale of this picture mostly takes place in a maze of endless mirrors. Reflections of the Soul indeed.

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