If there ‘s one word to describe John Wick as both a character and a franchise, it’s immediacy. Everything that happens is immediate and purposeful. There are no wasted emotions, and no wasted time. It’s all cause and effect.
Which is, simply, a delight.
This film opens immediately following the previous circus of carnage that is John Wick(Chapter 1 now?). And we are once again off and running as we see John Wick get his car back. My friend Sam once mentioned to me how it’s sad and ironic that heroes always have their cars destroyed or stolen in action films. It’s a trope that you don’t really think about until you do, and it really is sad to see beautiful machines turned into such monstrosities.
There may or may not be a metaphor there.
So, John gets his car back and enlists Aurelio(John Leguizamo) to fix it, as insanely rich former hitmen are wont to do, and he goes about the business of re-retiring. Wouldn’t you know, immediately after he finishes floating the concrete over his former self(again), his doorbell rings.
It’s at this point you know you’re watching a unicorn of a movie, in that John Wick 2 takes the time to expand on the mythos set forth in John Wick-beyond the title character-to include everything that made us fall in love with this franchise in the first place. This is a fully realized fantasy world and I would dare anyone to say that’s not important to why we care about John Wick. The other factor that makes me frothy at the mouth for more of this franchise is how well shot and articulated the action is. There is a fight in the middle of this movie that is so tense and emotional, I swear I almost started crying. It’s a beautiful moment of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. And it’s all clearly articulated in the language of film, something the makers of this franchise fully understand how to communicate with. You know exactly what’s going on at all times. There’s no need for twists and turns in story mechanics. Let this franchise stand as a glorious testament to the power of direct, effective storytelling.
I’m not going to run down the rest of the plot, because that would be rude, as this film truly must be experienced and digested on it’s own merit. However, the parting thought I have is one I had as I walked out of the theatre: we have yet to see John Wick at 100%. He’s beaten with a baseball bat at the beginning of the first film and has been stabbed, shot and beaten for the roughly 3 hours that have followed.
And he still manages to win every fight.
I do believe he has earned his nickname: Bobayega.
There are many directions this franchise can head and all I hope is that Keanu Reeves, Chad Stahelski and the rest of the crew never get tired of telling us their John Wick stories.