‘John Wick’ 2: New dog, old but good tricks

Austin Wood, Contributing Writer

“You wanted me back…I’m back.”
The second chapter of the John Wick series doesn’t innovate or change the original formula of the action movie, but it is almost impossible to take your eyes off the perfectly choreographed fight scenes that erupt almost back–to–back.
The body count in this movie is much higher than the original and the film is more “dog friendly,” which immediately makes it a successful sequel.
No one should see this film expecting spectacular acting or a witty script.
Keanu Reeves is as wooden as ever and only utters different words around throughout the course of the film’s 122-minute run time.
Where “John Wick: Chapter 2” fails to communicate verbally, it excels in creating a beautifully arranged ballet of death, where every single movement is carefully calculated.
The movie starts by finishing the “loose ends” of the previous movie and quickly shifts to a new plot line that focuses on the secretive assassin organization called the “Continental” from the first film.
The Continental effectively distinguishes “John Wick” from all other action movies out there by imposing limitations on where the fights can occur.
The assassins that belong to the Continental cannot engage in combat while they are within the walls of the hotels owned by the organization, providing a sort of safe harbor for the contract killers.
The Continental also acts as an intermediary for assassins to purchase their supplies.
One standout from this system is an arms dealer, played by Peter Serafinowicz, who treats his wares like fine wines, even referring to the process of selecting the firearms as a “tasting.”
Reeves is outfitted with several firearms, knives and a specially tailored bullet-proof suit before he travels to Rome to satisfy a favor from an old friend turned enemy.
Thus again, Wick is forced from the peaceful life he wants and is pitted against the world’s most dangerous killers.
Wick’s enemies this time around include the standard array of cannon fodder henchmen for him to easily dispatch in exciting and varied ways and a standout cast of deadly assassins that literally come from anywhere and everywhere.
For example, Laurence Fishburne plays the leader of a group of assassins in New York City that disguise themselves as homeless persons.
The film also marks the first time that Fishburne and Reeves have starred in a movie together since the “Matrix” series.
The conversations between Fishburne and Reeves are among the most interesting and tense in the movie.
If you are a fan of intense and over–the–top action movies, do yourself a favor and go see this movie. John Wick is a masterful evolution of the 19’s action movie brought into the modern era.
While “John Wick: Chapter 2” probably won’t appeal to everyone, I loved it and will probably see every single John Wick movie that comes out from here on out. Good thing that John Wick isn’t very good at retiring.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars