by SARA MARSHALL//Editor-in-Chief
Retired hit man John Wick finds himself back in the world of death, killing favors and intrigue.
The first installment showed the epic battle that pushed Wick back into the hit man world soon after the death of his wife. After reentering the underworld of assassins, Wick proves that he’s still the fabled “Baba Yaga,” or boogeyman, of hit men’s nightmares.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” picks right back up from where “John Wick” left off. This movie is jam-packed with endless action and even Wick’s fabled pencil killing. This action flick, directed by Chad Stahelski (“The Matrix,” “V for Vendetta”), boasts a heavily star-studded cast, including Keanu Reeves as ex-hit man, John Wick, Riccardo Scamarcio (“Burnt”) as the double-crossing hit man Santino D’Antonio, Ian McShane (“Hercules”) as the witty manager, Winston, and Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”) as deaf, but killer hit man Ares.
Having opened on Feb. 10 in theaters globally, “John Wick: Chapter 2” quickly took off in box offices around the nation. According to the Internet Movie Database, opening weekend saw $30 million in national box office sales. As of Feb. 22, the total gross just in the United States was more than $64 million.
The announcement of this killer installment in the “John Wick” franchise was cause for skepticism among action movie buffs and Reeves’ fans alike. I even found myself often questioning if it would be as good as the first “John Wick,” minus the obvious tear-jerking moment. Don’t lie; I know you did too. But “John Wick: Chapter 2” definitely surpassed all expectations and turned out to be a fantastic continuation in Wick’s further battle with trying to leave his old life in the international assassin’s guild and enjoy the life of retirement.
Thanks to hit man D’Antonio calling in a favor he owes him from days of old, Wick is once again plunged headfirst back into the depths of the world of assassins as he heads to Rome to repay the debt.
Nearly triple the body count of first movie, “John Wick: Chapter 2” offers audiences even more non-stop violence and intrigue in the world of hit man and crime lords. Despite the intensive CGI work done on this movie, thanks to intricately choreographed action sequences, it does not look silly or fake in any way.
“Chapter 2” definitely expands on the secretive world of the international assassin’s guild and offers a plot with a bit more depth than just a simple revenge story. Though “Chapter 2” has plenty of revenge throughout the movie, it offers deeper moments with several much-needed added plot elements.
Ending on a surprising note, “John Wick: Chapter 2” keeps you on the edge of your seat while awaiting the fate of Wick and his new canine counterpart as their whole world unfolds around them. Wick ends the movie by talking to Winston and leaves him with, “I’ll kill them all.” What a way to sum up Wick’s whole franchise! The question is, what’s next?
I would, without regret, rate “John Wick: Chapter 2” a 4.5 stars out of 5. Go see it in theaters while you can. You’re not going to want to miss this one.