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Peter T Chattaway

John Wick Chapter 2

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NBooth   

This movie is delightful. In retrospect, the first movie was my favorite in-theater experience of 2014 (combination of being in L.A. and being totally surprised by how fantastic the movie actually is), so I was doubtful that this one could really stick the landing. As it turns out, John Wick Chapter 2 is less surprising but no less entertaining than the first movie. The last big action scene owes an awful lot to a certain Orson Welles movie (let's say Welles-by-way-of-Roger-Moore-Bond) and it's lots of fun. Ruby Rose as the mute assassin is fun. Laurence FIshburne is funny in a way that I didn't quite expect. The rest of the cast is good. And there's a gag where a bit of music I assumed to be non-diegetic turns out to be diegetic, which is fun. You'll know it when you see it. 

Really, there's no way to spin this into a Deep Consideration of Serious Themes (though that last action scene does invite it); it's a well-built, incredibly fun movie. I'm a fan.

Edited by NBooth

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I enjoyed the hell out of this. While the first film had more nihilistic undertones that at times took away from the fantastic choreography and inventive "underworld-building", this one is approached with much more humor, and nearly as successful in action scenes and expanding the underworld universe.

Question for SDG - I seem to remember you (pretty sure it was you) linking to an interview with Keanu Reeves promoting the first film.  Something in that interview where Reeves talks about aging seemed to really connect with you.  I didn't see that link in the first film's thread, so perhaps it was something you posted on Facebook.  If by any chance you remember where that interview ran, could you post that link here, or in the original film's thread.  I'd be interested in rereading it. Thanks!

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NBooth   

 

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Perhaps it works as an examination of the nihilism of violence. Maybe in truth we are seeing John Wick's hell. It would make sense and plus Ian McShane has quite the devilish grin. 

A little too nihilistic for me though, maybe just wasn't in the right mood to watch it today. 

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Keith Uhlich declared this to be one of the standard-bearer of what he called the "New Competence," a movement that counterbalances "chaos cinema" by fetishizizing formal clarity (i.e. relying on show-off long takes, as WICK and LA LA LAND do). But he also lamented the shallowness of it all, suggesting that there's no real center, no real vision.

I enjoy the WICK films as passable timekillers, but I agree with Uhlich that they're pretty voids. Wick's backstory has always felt like a calculated narrative justification, a cliche revenge trope stripped back to the bare bones. The many fights capable but also numbingly repetitive; an endless sea of headshots doesn't make for dynamic action.

I wish this series would drop any pretense of drama. It works best as hyperviolent absurdist cartoon, as it does during the prologue of WICK 2.

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50 minutes ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

The many fights capable but also numbingly repetitive; an endless sea of headshots doesn't make for dynamic action.

 

This, at some point during the battle in the old castle I just stopped caring about the story. Moving from one exploding head to the next really just became numbing in a depressing way.

 

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