Hell yeah it’s earned it’s place with the likes of Godfather 2, Empire Strikes Back and Aliens!
And you know it as soon as the film opens with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) breaking into the warehouse where his car from the first film is being held by a relative of the Russians he slaughtered over his dog. Director Chad Stahleski doesn’t hold back with John’s walk in the park demeanor of getting what’s his back. He’s tying up loose ends to go back into retirement and the utter devastation that he leaves behind is breathtaking.
Writer Derek Kolstad does a masterful job in creating a reason for John to not peacefully be able to go back to the quiet life he created for himself and his new dog. He’s done, he buries his suit and guns, and holds on to his memories of his wife–until the doorbell rings.
Turns out word got around that he came back, albeit for personal reasons, but caught the attention of an Italian mobster who helped him get out to start a life with the woman he fell in love with. And this mobster shows up to cash in a favor for the debt that John’s in with him. You just know something is going to go down when John rejects him and sure enough the rebuffed blows up John’s house. Don’t worry his new dog survives that.
The set up of the first act is prime cinema. The hero rejects the call and is dragged back in to answer. You feel for John so much. He’s told that he has to do what the mobster asks of him because he signed in blood and if he doesn’t there will be consequences within the assassin organization. Ian McShane returns as the representative of the Continental and just relishes the role of enforcer that goes from laid back to ruthless real quick. Can’t wait to see where that goes next. Ruby Rose and Common added much needed threats that weren’t just neatly cleaned up and you were given other characters to root for even if they were the bad guys. The Peter Serafinowicz’s sommelier scene is a def highlight because anyone who loves guns and weaponry will feel like a kid in a candy store.
And of course, Lawrence Fishburne’s appearance is fan service done right and you guys–IT’S MORPHEUS AND NEO!!!!
Honestly John Wick has succeeded in ways The Matrix didn’t. For starters–this is the Keanu Reeves action star sequel we deserved! And he very well may find a more iconic place in film with John than with Neo. It’s that damn good! The original story, the action, the set pieces, the dark humor and the body count is mint popcorn cinema that will solidify it’s well earned place in movie lore. And hopefully teach the studios to take chances on IP’s that are unique and not just reboots or adaptations.
We honestly can’t wait to see this movie again and NEED Chapter III to come out ASAP!
And p.s. if they bring in Carrie-Anne Moss we will lose our damn minds!