John Wick: Chapter 2 ★★

I’m kicking myself for wasting a rare Sunday movie outing on John Wick Chapter 2. While I can’t deny that the high craft and artistry involved here puts it near the top of its genre, I’m just too sick and tired of gun culture. Give me a kung fu movie any day, where the fighting is beautiful and balletic. I just can’t turn off my brain and enjoy brutal MMA and/or firearm combat, where the aim is to maim and kill. Granted, maybe my mood was negatively influenced by the psychopaths in the theater that applauded every time somebody our hero Johnny put a bullet through a brain or stabbed some guy in the groin.

OK, fine, I have to admit that Keanu does execute one incredible gun-related trick that impressed even this pacifist: he one-handedly flips his hand around the back of a pistol, opens & closes the chamber, and flips his hand back. That was awesome.

Searching for other positive comments to make: Ian McShane is, as usual, delicious. He’s in Shakespeare while everyone else is just in some dumb movie. I also always like Common (see also Hell on Wheels and Selma), and the reunion of Keanu and with his Matrix costar Laurence Fishburn is entertainingly hammy.

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