John Wick: Chapters 1 & 2 Combo Review

For almost 3 years, I had heard constant praise for the sleeper hit of 2014, John Wick. Everyone described it as one of the best action movies in recent memory. So with the sequel coming up, I decided to take a look for myself and rent if off FandangoNow on my iPad(for some reason RedBox didn’t bring it back like they’ve done for other franchises with upcoming new entries.). And what was my reaction? Oh wait. This is a Keanu Reeves movie, so um

Yeah! It totally lived up to the hype. The story revolves around an ex-assassin named, of course, John Wick, whose wife passed away due to… well, they never actually say what it was, but I’m just gonna assume it was cancer. Anyway, they both knew she didn’t have long so before she died, she arranged for him to have a puppy, named Daisy, delivered to him so that he wouldn’t be alone in his mourning. But when a pompous son of a German mob boss breaks into his house and kills Daisy because he wouldn’t sell him his car, he has no idea what he’s unleashed.

Yes. John goes on a killing spree over a dog. Heck, even the characters acknowledge how insane it is, as do you, but at the same time, you understand where he’s coming from. This punk killed his dog, thus taking the last thing his wife gave him before he lost her.

Great action, great performances, great directing. Apart from a few slower moments and a kinda confusing villain motivation, John Wick an all around fun, great movie. 5/5 gold coins.

So obviously, the sequel had a lot to live up to. Particularly because you don’t have the same shock value. Everyone expected the first film to just be a generic action movie and were surprised by how good it actually ended up being.  Welp, the concern wasn’t warranted, because the sequel is just as good, if not better than the original. I had a blast with this movie from start to finish.

One things so great about this film is the world building and the expansion of the mythos around the Continental Hotel. For one, it’s not just in New York. It’s all over the world. I really don’t wanna say too much more because it really just has to be witnessed, so I’m not gonna get too much into the story either, but trust me. It’s really good.

The pacing is excellent. It’s very fast paced and only slows down when it really needs to. There’s this one scene where the fast pace instantly switches to a slower pace for the next scene. It’s extremely abrupt, but it actually works. I know that sounds strange, but again, you just have to see it. It’s so funny.

While the action is great in the first film, it is nothing compared to the action in this film.  They upped the ante big time, particularly in terms of stunt work. What’s funny is that some sequences kinda felt like a video game. But in a good way. But keep in mind, this film is BRUTAL! It earns its R-rating and it’s no wonder that one of the guys that directed the last movie is taking over Deadpool 2.

Now let’s talk about the cast. Keanu Reeves continues to shine as John Wick and Ian McShane is fantastic as Winston, but there’s also a lot of great new additions like Common as Cassian, Ruby Rose, who lately I’ve seen get a lot of hate and I really don’t understand why, as Ares, and especially Laurence Fishburne as the Bowler King(it goes without saying that it’s awesome to see him and Keanu back on screen together.). All of them were a ton of fun and entertaining moments.

There is one thing that bugs me but it’s not major and is more of a nitpick. You see, John is often referred to as “Baba Yaga”(German word for “the Boogeyman”). What I find strange is that in the first movie, the main villain says “Well John wasn’t exactly the Boogeyman. He was the one you sent to kill the (bleep)ing Boogeyman.” So shouldn’t he be referred to as such? I don’t know. Maybe that’s just what that character in particular thought of him as and not everyone else.

But bottom line, this movie is just awesome and the ending gives me a very Empire Strikes Back feeling in terms of where things go and I hope they have the same success with the third to make a perfect trilogy and I really hope those rumors about a prequel tv series are true. Just make sure it’s on something like HBO or maybe FX so that the action isn’t held back by mainstream channel restrictions. John Wick: Chapter 2, just like the first, gets 5/5 gold coins. If you’re an action movie fan, it is a must-see.

Next time, it’s time to take another look at an animated film of last year that I had mixed feelings about when I first saw it.

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