Sunday, 5 March 2017

John Wick Chapter 2 Film Review

I caught John Wick Chapter 2 last week. Keanu Reeves steps on the gas for director Chad Stahelski. John's semi-retired and just looking for a little peace. But we find him needing to finish a job picking up his car. He's very fond of his Mustang Mach 1. Unfortunately it's a little battered and bruised afterwards. As is John. But his mechanic Aurelio, played by John Leguizamo, can have it looking good as new. In 2030. So plenty of time to kick back with a dog with no name.

Except that history comes calling in the form of business man Santino D'Antonio, played by Riccardo Scamarcio. He offers John a marker that John spilt blood, as an oath, on. An oath to take a job when asked. In payment for the help D'Antonio gave to help John retire after his wife Helen died. John refuses. And D'Antonio takes his revenge by blowing up his beautiful house. Luckily for him the dog survives.

Retreating for advice to the Continental Hotel, in reality the Flatiron building, the manager Winston, played by the splendid Ian McShane, tells John of his choices. Really he has none. Accept the marker and do the job. Or be dishonoured for refusing. And no killing on the hotel property. John meets with D'Antonio to discuss the target. John is a man with no wife, no life and no home. But the target will have serious repercussions for him. And is in Rome.

I fell in love with Rome and it's beauty last year. But I didn't get to see the secret places that John knows. The laundry that makes made-to-measure suits. With a little added extra. The hotel sommelier who does a nice line in vintage and knows the bouquet of everything he sells. Full marks to Peter Serafinowicz for his comic timing. And the map seller who has access to the Colosseum plans. For it is here in this magnificent building that John will take out his mark. The Continental Hotel's Rome Manager, played by Franco Nero, prays it's not the Pope. And also reminds him of the no killing on hotel property rule. But wishes him a good stay in Rome.

John is a professional and carries out the job. But he's a loose end that needs clearing up. With amazing stunts throughout and for those who don't like guns I'm sorry to say that there were many. So maybe not the movie for you. The blood splatters were amazing. Tarantino would have been proud.

When John returns to New York he is a marked man with a $7 million dollar price tag. The Continental Hotel has a great accounts system that is very efficient at getting out the offer to the local hitmen and women. John appeals for help to The Bowery King who looks after downtown business. Played by Laurence Fishburne. A man that as a target, John gave an option to many years ago. He took it then and agrees to help John again. Get this man a gun...

The action is fast and so is the movie. The 122 minutes rattled along. And unlike a fairground Hall of Mirrors, what you see is what you get. Keanu is at full Speed.

I loved every minute. Interestingly director Chad played Keanu's stunt double in The Matrix. So knows how to get the best out of his stunt team. And he did. Can't wait for Chapter 3.

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