February 10, 2017 marked the official US release of John Wick: Chapter 2, the new action movie starring Keanu Reeves and the sequel to 2014’s John Wick. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening courtesy of Summit Entertainment, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
As the title suggests, this is only the second installment in what promises to be an action packed franchise. Thank goodness for that, because, after watching the first two, I personally have a need for more.
Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Trilogy, 47 Ronin, Constantine) reprises his role as John Wick, a contract killer trying to retire. The last movie left us off with John avenging his puppy’s murder. This movie starts us just after that. Peter Stormare (The Penguins of Madagascar, Constantine) plays what is left of the Russian mob family that Wick took out in the first movie. The two come to an understanding, and Wick goes back to his retirement.
Too bad for him, the mark he left to get out of the business gets called in by Santino D’Antonio (played by Ricardo Scamarcio of Burnt). So much for retirement, Wick has no choice but to accept the job. What follows is a full movie of action, ass kicking, some serious tactical moves by Mr. Reeves, interspersed with some talking and interacting with various members of the criminal underworld and underground (hello Laurence Fishburne of the Matrix Trilogy).
So, how did this movie compare to the first installment? Holy butt nuggets, Batman! It was epic! There were so many cringe-worthy, bone-crunching, car-crunching moments, I couldn’t stop grinning. Reeves’ stunts weren’t “Matrixcized” (it’s a word), so there weren’t any of those slow-mo moments, nor were there any sped-up sequences, which some of my fellow reviewers were complaining about. I had no complaints, those moves were complicated, and hard-hitting and Reeves made you believe he was John Wick, the Boogeyman.
Did I mention that rapper-turned-actor, Common was awesome? No? Well there you go. His fight scenes with Reeves were painful to watch. That’s a good thing, people. I “owwed” a lot during their fights, and there’s a funny bit in the subway that I’m not going to tell you about. I’m looking forward to seeing Common in the next installment.
Waiting….waithing….waiting…. Oh come on!
Oh, and Justin Beiber was in it, too. What do you mean that wasn’t him? Oh. I stand corrected. Sorry! Ruby Rose (XXX: Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) plays Ares, a wannabe killer/pet of Santino’s that only speaks in sign language. If she was supposed to be a “badass” she might have wanted to step it up a notch. Are you sure that wasn’t Beiber? Then again, maybe I just don’t get the recent obsession with Rose. Maybe it’s just me.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, I loved John Wick: Chapter 2. The Hollywood vampire known as Keanu Reeves (seriously, doesn’t this guy age?!) kicks royal ass in this. The dog lives, but the car may be toast and John Wick is not a man you want owing you a favor. As far as action movies and sequels go, this one absolutely delivers and it is definitely a movie I plan on watching over and over. – 9.5/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
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I’m just glad Keanu Reeves has a winner. He is one of Hollywood’s genuine good guys. Despite a long series of cutting personal tragedies, none of his own doing, he has quietly toiled on, remaining to this day a humble, caring, most generous soul. May his future be bright.