lördag 25 februari 2017


John Wick Chapter Two is the second chapter in the highly revered action saga that re-launched Keanu Reeves into a new phase of his action-person and re-invented him into this rugged bad ass mould. His "deer-in-the- headlights"-charisma has transformed into a more gritty version of it with an older more chiseled-face Reeves. We´ve never seen Keanu quite like this in any other role. Quiet, stoic and incredibly intense. More reliant on focused stares and his incredible physicality than on his line deliveries. When he speaks it is mostly a few syllables or at most one sentence.Sometimes he gets to yell. Seldom has a part been so perfectly suited for him as John Wick. 

A lot of stuff has led up to this point. His collaborations with  JOhn Wick-directors/stunt performers/second unit directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski on The Matrix projects, but also on Reeves directorial debut, the criminally underrated martial arts extravaganza Man of Tai Chi. This laid the groundwork for what Keanu Reeves is today, much like the bodies John buried on that day of his most impossible task and how it built the foundation  for the Russian Mob.

What is great about the style of action in these films is that they´ve managed to incorporate not only the physical spectactle of the human body in the traditions of Hong kong action cinema, but in a video game-esque environment. Whenever John is shooting his guns his actions reminds us of first person shooters, in when you´ve shot one guy  "BLAM!"you quickchange with the tap of a button to the next target " BLAM AGAIN!". Which is why John manages to get som many crazy headshots. I think it is a quite a unique way of modernizing action cinema in an intelligent way. 

At the same time the film teaches us that the underworld organizations are reluctant to use a lot of modern technology. When they are transmitting information,communicating or storing information, they use bigass books, they keep physical records. They use Commodore 64 computers and a 1950´s esque telephone switchboard operations board for communication.

I  think the build up to the action sequences were made more classy in the first one, but in this one they go a bit crazy with symbolic imagery instead, with mirrors, a modern arts exhibit (Reflection of your soul) and all sorts of interesting stuf that gives the film more weight than you´d expect from a straightup genre-piece like this.

A lot of dry humour, has seeped into this one as well. Stuff that is hard to explain in text form, But trust me. This is also a very funny movie. It is also a movie in which  three people gets stabbed with  a fucking pencil

I noticed a homage to John Woos A Better Tomorrow. In that film Chow Yun-Fat places guns in vases at a restauarant fo uses later on. In John Wick Chapter Two, when Wick escapes he has hidden an assault rifle and a shotgun in seperate places which he access as he makes his esacpe. Good shit.

John Wick Chapter Two is a superlative sequel in every way. More world building, more interesting characters that inhabit it, more exotic environments, and way more violence. The fights are longer this time, the body count is higher, the dry humour is developed further and this keeps becoming a very distinct franchise with many legs that can carry it forward as the film ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

John Wick WILL return!

1 kommentar:

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    Chapter 2 start with a usual chase scene. Its robust, skillful, too long but ends unexpectedly. It reminded me of another movie, Blade II. which was 2nd in series, had exactly same way starting with a chase in continuation from the first movie. But as the movie progressed, you realized that how amazing the story line and much bigger and bolder are the action scenes. Chapter 2 is audacious and has enough action to fulfill Adrenalin and video game junkies. It doesn't have any character that are there just there for the need of the scene. I will look forward to return of that henchman in Chapter 3 that was left on the train with a blade in his heart.
    Having discussed the greatness of this movie, I still find bit difficult to believe that smart man as John Wick agrees to do one last job to free himself from the oath. The kind of a job which is self- explanatory that there will be consequences after this hit. So why even accept it and not kill the one who burned your house. However, by the end, the movie is bit heavy handed in dealing with the psychological pressure that John Wick faces as he sits with his nameless dog in his burned house and mourns the loss of his life, his beloved wife and the emptiness of his heart. Its takes a rare risk to show how this undefeatable anti-hero will face the same fate as anyone who breaks the rules of the house. I love when movie makers are willing to take chances to show that even the mighty ones have a limit and powerless of their fate. Above all like us they are extremely flawed driven by their primitive need to fulfill their immediate hunger.
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