New dog, old tricks…
So will John Wick enjoy a nice and super-relaxing retirement?
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017 Movie) Official Trailer – ‘Wick Goes Off’, Lionsgate Movies and pictures © Liongate Movies
John Wick, Chapter 2 (2017) starts with a nice wee nod to the first movie, which I reviewed HERE. John Wick goes back – to Chapter 1‘s bad guy – Viggo’s garage. This is now run by his brother Abram (Peter Stormare, an actor I recently reviewed in Fargo (1996)). We don’t see John Wick (Keanu Reeves) immediately, but with a similar great build-up from the first movie with a non-exasperated again but from Abram.. this interspersed with Wick killing Abram’s henchmen in his own unique shoot on sight rampage.
It’s a great action opening – with some great references – to this long-awaited part 2. So after claiming his now wreck of a car, Wick goes home to a new dog. Then we find out the reason for this mission. The car contains a birthday card that Wick’s late wife, Helen gave him. So Wick’s last revenge on the Tarasov family, we see him bury his guns in concrete once more. We the viewers, like Wick relax for an all too short time. Then the doorbell goes… and the ominous feeling we had from the first movie returns…
It’s fellow hitman Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio). He asks if Wick can do a job for him to settle an old debt as he helped Wick leave his hitman career. Wick refuses with Santino setting fire to Wick’s home. Wick not losing a dog this time, but everything else he’s shared with Helen including his photographs with her. He then goes to talk to head honcho Winston at the Hitman Hotel, The Continental about it.
Winston tells Wick he must honour this man’s request in spite of everything. as they made an unbreakable promise. As per the rules of The Continental. Admittedly it would have been a quicker end to the movie if Winston had simply told him off for not keeping copies on an online storage site. But he doesn’t… (which is why we love Winston, and not just because he’s played by Ian McShane, British totty for ladies of a certain age).
This leads to Wick contacting Santino and meeting Santino’s henchmen and henchwomen in the process. Santino asks Wick to kill his sister, Gianna (Claudia Gerini) so as he can gain more power and influence from crime lords.. as you do.
Wick agrees for this one last hit. This takes Wick to Rome, where we are treated to a nice wee montage of Wick being kitted out for his one last job before retirement. Danny Glover never got it this good in the first of the Lethal Weapon (1987) films, but he got landed with Mel Gibson as his new partner, Martin Riggs. All be it a crazy Mel character.
So after seeing this the second part of the John Wick trilogy I’d wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s a great storyline and the story is not as straightforward as it first makes out. It’s written by Derek Kolstad, who also wrote Chapter 1 so it was nice to have that continuity with the characters.
The plot leads to a shed load of exciting action scenes and suspense set in some glorious – and fantastically over the top in some places – settings. And an ending that will leave you aching for Chapter 3. There are some great montages usually involving John Wick shooting everyone in his way from every angle possible and eliminating the bad guys with some more random weapons.
Referring to my John Wick post for the first film, judging from the numbers it looks like Jason Statham’s The Expendables (2012) kills have been eclipsed for the first two films of those films – I now believe a fourth outing for the ageing action guys is in the works – compared to the first two films in the Wick trilogy. But I’ll give the final total kill numbers after seeing Chapter 3.
It’s refreshing to have the familiar pairing back of Reeves and McShane who are a great bromance pairing… however McShane was later upstaged. For later on in the film, there is an all to small part for an actor who is worth the cinema ticket price alone to see them again with Reeves. And it’s not Sandra Bullock. Or previous co-star Dianne Wiest. Or even Jack Nicholson.
Another well thought touch was the long list of returning characters and their acting counterparts which included John Leguizamo as Aurelio and I’ll let you recognise the others. It was a joy to see some new faces too, bizarrely I recognised Franco Nero after seeing the trailer recently, for the new Joan’s The Time of Their Lives (2017). In that film. Nero is about to thrill the ladies – of the same age as the Ian McShane’s Lovejoy (1986-94) groupies – as he stars in this recently released Joan Collins and Pauline Collins movie as part of a love triangle with these lovely ladies.
There was so much more to learn about the characters and the rules of the Continental to learn. It was nice to see there was an Italian Branch of the Continental. This makes you wonder is there one in every capital city? Is it run by an actor or actress of a certain age that those of a certain age would find irresistible?
Leading to the question of whether James Bond is actually a pseudonym for John Wick, and M is actually a W and it stands for Winston…. and … please, can Chapter 3 come out very soon because I’m aching to see what happens to those who get on John Wick’s wick.
Weeper Rating: 😦😦 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 /10
This post was added Maddy Loves her Classic Movies’ Noirathon. Other posts with this cast include Keanu Reeves also stars in John Wick Chapter 1, Rough Guide to Movie Dogs, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Point Break and The Lake House reviews also feature here. Ian McShane also stars in Dallas and this tribute to him in 5 of his appearances HERE. Peter Stormare stars in Chocolat, Fargo and American Gods.