Sunday, 11 June 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2

Keanu Reeves returns as the eponymous character John Wick, in the sequel to the surprising 2014 hit with Reeves playing a retired hit man who just cannot avoid his forcing him back into the game he wanted to walk away from.

Directed again by Chad Stahelski - whose stunt work has graced The Hunger Games, The Wolverine - the film continues not long after the first film's conclusion. On this occasion, John must do a favour for Italian crime lord Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scarmario) who wants a seat at the top table of the crime syndicate, or the crime world will descend upon him.

The film features some amazing action sequences shot in some beautiful locations especially in subways and nightclubs, the film culminates with an ingenious mirror sequence.  The other stand out scene is when John must flee the catacombs of a Roman tomb and you become almost a point of view from John as he encounters wave upon wave of people out to shoot him, it is reminiscent of a Call of Duty or other first person shooter video games. The scene is both exhilarating yet at times bewildering.

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Whilst Reeves is never going to win Oscars for his performances, you have to admire the way he has found this niche role for his minimalist range combining his star persona and Matrix martial arts skills to promote a run of the mill action role into a franchise keeper. 

This film would be a lot different with a brooding Jason Statham or ranting Liam Neeson; and because of his zen like centre the somewhat over-the-top action scenes are believable due to Reeves holding court with his range.

The film does not hold back from the off there is a rip-roaring stunt car scene, and the scenes between Reeves and Common, who almost steals those scenes, are handled effectively as a calm down before the next dynamic explosion of pulsating action.

Exhilarating and intense, John Wick: Chapter Two is a great addition to the hitman revenge action film genre, but it the quiet moments of reflection and dialogue stop it from becoming one of the greats, despite everyone clearly having a ball whilst doing it.

The Special features include never-before-seen content including 'Training John Wick', 'Car Fu Ride Along', 'Kill Count' and three deleted scenes.

John Wick: Chapter Two is available to own on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray and DVD from June 12th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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