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‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ packs decent story into a gun slinging thrill ride

Photo Courtesy of Tribune News Service | John Wick: Chapter 2 was a great movie that was action packed and very stylish.

Starring Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio
8 out of 10
By Joseph Valencia ’17

“John Wick: Chapter 2” does an amazing job by listening to the fans from the first film in order to create a much stronger action flick this time around.

While the action and atmosphere is better than ever, the plot isn’t much of an improvement over the first installment. However, I feel that the director intentionally sacrifices the strength of the plot in order to focus on the action.

Essentially, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is an everyday man with a dark and hidden past that he is trying to put behind him.

In the first movie, John Wick bought a puppy for emotional comfort after his wife died of an unspecified illness. However, his dog is killed by the Russian mob when they break into his home.

The death of his dog sets John Wick on a mission of vengeance against the people who wronged him. The film wraps up nicely as well, with John finding relative peace by getting a new dog after his mission is complete.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” opens shortly after the first movie ended, with John Wick being forced to serve an Italian crime lord named Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), to whom he owes a favor. The film greatly expands John Wick as a character, solidifying his reputation as a former international assassin.

John Wick’s character develops as numerous mob bosses discuss how they fear him due to his deadly precision and unrelenting nature. His presence is almost mythical, with some characters fearfully referring to him as “the boogeyman.”

The action sequences are astounding in how they manage to use excellently composed shots, yet still manage to convey a great sense of speed and intensity. The sets and locations are also amazing, with gun fights taking place in a luxurious Italian estate as well as the seedy underbelly of New York.

The set piece used for the final firefight is possibly the best I’ve seen in an action movie.

John Wick is forced to face a small army of mobsters in a mirror maze. The mirrors create an amazing sense of tension, as Wick shoots each one while fully expecting a gunman to be behind it.

While this sequel was unexpected, it was definitely well done, and is a superior film to “John Wick.”

That brings me to my favorite aspect of this film: the ending. Without spoiling anything, the movie ends very ambiguously for John Wick, leaving the franchise open for another sequel.

While some may be tired of these films, I believe they have the potential to form an amazing franchise.

I’m really excited that Keanu Reeves has made his comeback as an actor, and I can’t wait to see where he takes John Wick.