Keanu Reeves’ first foray as reluctantly un-retired hit man supreme John Wick in 2014 was rightly celebrated for its beautifully brutal action choreography, but its sequel is a welcome prospect thanks largely to its intricately-crafted unseen world of killers and their codes of conduct. This time around, John Wick is forced to take on an assignment as repayment of an old debt, immersing him once again in the brutal world he’d tried to escape. Director Chad Stahelski once again offers a dizzying buffet of chase and fight sequences, ranging from the poetically ridiculous to the hilariously sublime (like a surreptitious exchange of silencer fire in a crowded area). Yet as viscerally satisfying as those moments are, the Wick-iverse gets more of its energy from the world he inhabits, including a “sommelier” arms dealer and New York City’s homeless as a secret army of ignored assassins. And at the center of it all is Reeves, a perfect stoic anti-hero in relentless forward motion. Even though the set-up here offers less of an emotional hook, there’s nothing quite like a kick-ass spectacle built on a foundation of creative weirdness.
Director: Chad Stahelski
Producer: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Jeff Waxman, Robert Bernacchi, David Leitch, Kevin Frakes and Vishal Rungta
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, Bridget Moynahan, Franco Nero, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane and Thomas Sadoski