Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Directed by Chad Stahelski

Starring Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose

Author

A collection of action scenes filled with unbelievably extreme brutality. The number of graphic, execution-style headshots in this one is just shocking. The story that loosely holds the whole thing together is pretty thin, with actors in just about every scene trying to outcool each other with crappy dialogue.

The action and stunts are, admittedly, pretty good. Fight scenes are well-choreographed. Keanu obviously did some intense tactical and weapons training, because it looks like he really knows what he’s doing. His lack of muscularity, slight paunch, and bowleggedness are unusual for an action star, but he still pulls off all the moves. Camerawork throughout is very good, particularly in the final battle through the halls of mirrors (reminiscent of Enter the Dragon). It takes a lot of blocking and coordination and CGI trickery to shoot the entire sequence without any reflections of camera or crew.

But then there are the liberties taken in any over-the-top action movie. He’s good at ducking behind walls and diving at the perfect moment, but for a guy that everyone wants dead, couldn’t a sniper finish the job quite easily? How come everyone else has such completely awful aim? How can he get shot multiple times and just keep fighting? How can he get hit by a car and be fine? Not even a limp.

Some reviews for this movie somehow claim that Keanu’s a good actor, but every line is delivered with an uncomfortable stiffness, his trademark squinty eyes, and a beat that lasts a moment too long before the words come out, reminding one more of Alzheimer’s than cool. Ruby Rose is nice. They beat up her face, but she’s still pretty cute.

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