Monday, 13 February 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2. A hitman's renaissance.

Friday evening and I’m at the Gala Screening of John Wick: Chapter 2. I was a little late to the party for the first film, but I certainly wasn’t going to miss out a second time round!

In the midst of a dreadful cold and feeling quite sorry for myself I brave the bitter cold and take my place in the audience.

There really is a quite buzz, as I plonk myself right, slap bang in the middle of the isle; my favourite spot.

I’m looking around and thinking; he’s here you know. Keanu Reeves. I reckon he’s going to introduce the film.

And before I know it, the doors open and in walks the director Chad Stahelski, followed by leading man Keanu Reeves.

Standing adjacent to his director but slightly to the back of the stage, my first impressions are that this leading man is a shy and unassuming man.

“We love you Keanu!” Came a voice from the audience; a male voice. But he’s right: we do!

This isn’t a film review but more of a study into why I think that John Wick: Chapter 2 is so well crafted, and what makes it a success in my eyes.

The world of John Wick is about precision and elegant execution; and so is the film itself.

With stunning choreography in every aspect, not just the fight scenes, but the fluidity of the camera moves and exquisite production design.

John Wick: Chapter 2 achieves the perfect balance of being utterly brutal but not taking itself too seriously.

Without a doubt the original movie was stylish and stylised, but the sequel ups the ante as we are immersed in Italian renaissance. Full of opulence and elegance I can’t help but feel that the renaissance serves as a metaphor for Wicks own revival, even if it is reluctant.

The emotional core of this film is love. An exploration into grief. And for all the extremities of violence within John Wick, that thankfully we as an audience will never experience. We can as an audience relate to love and bereavement which certainly anchors this story.

I think this film also teaches us about taking responsibility and being accountable for our actions.

And what of our anti-hero John Wick? He is ruthless, relentless and yet we root for the retired hitman. Why? Is it because he’s worked hard to redeem himself, found the right path, found something we all aspire to find: happiness. Only to be prematurely robbed of it. So now we find a simple man lost in grief.

And the actor that plays him, Keanu Reeves.  Someone who has had such an interesting career, who has a fine body of work in his portfolio. He is so believable as John Wick, and his maturity as an actor allows him to bring this vulnerability and honesty. Perhaps his own relentlessness bleeds into his character, which is why it he is so believable.

And boy doesn’t Keanu wear’s a suit well?!

I mentioned earlier about the cinematography and the production design; they really do work in symphony with each other. The saturated colours amplify the extremities and compliments the surrealism of the film. 

This film is not a comedy, but it does now how to laugh at itself and allows itself to have fun, it balances the high octane action and humour again, with precision.

John Wick and with John Wick: Chapter 2 both successfully take you on an edge of your seat journey of pure escapism and entertainment. What more can you ask for.

I urge you to go to the cinema and support this movie and make up your own mind I Would love to hear your thoughts in comments below. Enjoy it as much as I did!   

Words by Claire Bueno

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO bursts onto UK cinema screens from February 17, 2017


  1. really enjoyed it, non-stop action and not too unbelievable... Plus Keanu put a lot of work into it and it shows.

  2. John Wick Chapter 2 an action masterpiece - Incredibly intense from start to finish. I'm charged for chapter 3. Danny