2017, Movies

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017, Chad Stahelski)

I didn’t like John Wick as much as most people did, though I found it entertaining, and so you’ll no doubt be surprised that I didn’t like Chapter 2 as much as most people did, or as much as I enjoyed the first one.

The universe of John Wick was already ridiculous and expanding it only makes it more ridiculous. There are two broad aspects in which this film is ridiculous, and more ridiculous than the original.

The first is the plot. A crime boss hires the titular character to kill someone, but he sends a literal army to kill him after he does the deed. How does that make any sense at all? But that’s the universe this film is set in, there are hitmen (and a couple hitwomen) literally everywhere, one cop (or was he a fireman?) and nobody cares that hundreds of people are dying. So when the crime boss’s army fails to kill our hero, he then hires what feels like half the city of New York to kill him. Aside from regular people being scared, there seems to be no external reality to the killing. (It’s also worth noting that bystanders are scared but never injured, even when John and Cassian are shooting at each other from the hip in a crowd.)

The other ridiculous aspect is the technology: this sequel really leans into the archaic feel of the hotel (now, hotels) and there are operators, and typewriters, and pneumatic tubes, and what looks to be a computer from the 1980s and, of course, cell phones. Why? Why not just set it in the past if you want the weird, kooky technology of the past?

Some of the fight scenes are entertaining and they’re all well choreographed, as you would expect. Some of the dialogue is really stupid, but you would also expect that.

It’s ridiculous, but it’s not offensively ridiculous like a certain other extremely popular action movie franchise.


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