Last night, with marker coin in hand, I attended the multimedia screening of “John Wick: Chapter Two”. Having never seen “Chapter One” and after telling work colleagues I was going to see “Jack Reacher”, I clearly had no exceptions of what was in store for me. Luckily, my close friend gave me a fully dramatised summary so I was soon up to ‘Speed’ (couldn’t help myself!) and even had a grasp on potential ‘in jokes’
Much to our surprise, the screening was introduced by it’s star, Keanu Reeves and he did not disappoint. Reeves, now fifty two, is still the ice cold heartthrob we remember from nineties films such as “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Point Break”. He carries a fidgety, childlike quality similar to his role as Ted in the 1990 cult classic “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. Once the brief introduction was finished, Keanu was quite literally whisked out of the door and the excitement began to simmer down as the movie kicked off with an explosive action sequence with familiar faces from the original.
Reeves once again plays retired assassin John Wick, who returns to his criminal life and discovers that a bounty has been put on his life. A vengeful pursuit begins and you know the rest. Keanu has always been a fairly wooden actor and he doesn’t steer to far from his comfort zone in this outing as the well intended death machine, however he is well supported by some strong performances from Ian McShane, rapper Common and Wick’s beloved dog. The dog receives the better close ups. Fans of “The Matrix” series will also be delighted to see the first onscreen reunion of Reeves and Morpheus himself, Lawrence Fishburn.
With a Rotten Tomato rating of 94% and a current box office opening weekend figure of $11m on release, “John Wick: Chapter Two” is clearly ticking the boxes with it’s fans, old and new, and will allow some welcome rest bite for the Valentines rebels who want to avoid “Fifty Shades Darker” at all costs. Myself included!
This movie will never accumulate awards and critical acclaim, but it does know exactly what it is and delivers us a fun, action movie with memorable one liners and brilliant and (at times comedic) fight scenes. “John Wick: Chapter Two” doesn’t ask to be taken seriously…so if you don’t either, you are in for a brilliant ride.