I was quite late to the party with John Wick, skipping seeing this sequel in the cinema as I still hadn’t seen the first part (released in 2014) by then. On paper, it’s got little enough to make it stand out: retired hitman goes after the gang that killed his (spoiler?), delivering a couple of hours of brutally efficient violence. However, word of mouth did wonders, spawning not just this but a second sequel due out next month. Time to catch up!
Following the events of the first movie, John Wick (Keanu Reeves), is once again trying to hang up his guns. He has a new puppy and everything! But Italian crime lord, Santino D’Antonio, takes the events of the previous film as a sign that Wick is out of retirement and therefore due to make good on a years-old debt. When saying no turns out not to be an option, Wick is set a nigh-impossible task. Failure is not an option – but success isn’t going to be a walk in the part either.
If you liked the first movie then chances are this one is going to hit the same buttons. Reeves is excellent as the taciturn ‘Bogeyman’ of assassins, kicking ass and not bothering to take names. He’s an actor that’s had a lot of stick over the years, but his quiet style suits this very well.
If you’re looking for more than just raw action, there is a little bit more hinted at about the ‘rules’ and who enforces them, such as no business on the Continental property, or why a blood debt can’t be turned down. At first I wasn’t sure this didn’t just feel like added hokum, but actually it builds the plot well and is clearly where part 3 is headed.
It’s not going to win Oscars, but it does what it does as well as you could want, I guess!
Released: 17th February 2017
Viewed: 7th April 2019
Running time: 122 minutes
Rated: 15/18 (cut and uncut versions)
My rating: 7/10