John Wick: Chapter 2 ★★★★

I saw this in the cinemas a good month or so back, but never get around to reviewing it in spite of my enjoyment. As someone who had huge fondness for the original film, I can say that this sequel lives up, and even surpasses it in some ways. Again, a glossy, blood-soaked thrill-ride that still shows Keanu Reeves in top form.

Now for what appears as mindless shoot-them-up, actually has a bigger narrative than you'd expect. John Wick is back, and trying to live a normal live (with his new dog), until one of his former associates forces him out of retirement no matter how much he tries to bail out of the game. He is assigned with the task of travelling to Rome to carry out a kill, but a double-crossing puts him with a large bounty on his head upon his return to New York. Can he survive the wave of deadly assassins that stand in his way?

Chad Stahelski again hits the spot here. It's not short of hard-hitting, fast-paced action with a innumerable amount of headshots and brutal hand-to-hand combat, all without too much shaky-cam to distract the viewer. The sequence in Rome is one example, nothing gets you more pumped than seeing Wick blast mooks in the face while thumping electro-dance music blasts in the background. Visually, the film looks fantastic, with glossy noir-esque cinematography of NYC and Rome alike.

All in all, great music, great action and great visuals, it does justice to the original and more while expanding the universe that was already well-established previously. Some of the beats feel a bit repetitious and the end comes off as rather implausible, but otherwise it is a satisfying entry for fans of Keanu and it's genre alike.

8.5/10

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