What lured the Boogeyman back in this time?
After the success of John Wick (2014), a few things were pretty clear:
→ The masses would come out for a sequel
→ Keanu would be attached
→ The body count would likely surpass the first
Just about the only question on everyone’s mind is the first question that instinctively comes to mind with a follow-up to a successful film: "will it be as good as the original?".
Still brewing off the adrenaline of the first film, Chapter 2 doesn’t even have the decency to wait for opening credits, the action is already going as we tune in. It opens with John rumbling down the city streets in a GTO terrorizing any and all that are keeping him from recovering his '69 Mach 1. However, the plot has nothing to do with John retrieving his vehicle or an assault on his furry companion. This time around John is pulled out of a brief retirement by an Italian crime Lord - Santino D’ Antonio.
With a marker containing a bloody thumb print, John is summoned by Santino to make good on a favor owed. Santino requests for John to assassinate his sister so that he can take over as the new head of the D’Antonio family. John politely refuses, and Santino replies by incinerating John’s house.
Obliged by the rules of the underworld, John is compelled to make good on his debt to Santino. As expected, John’s return is undoubtedly darker and bloodier then the last.
Directed with as much conviction as the first, Chad Stahelski delivers an ambitious sequel that does not disappoint. From fight scenes to expanded underworld backdrops, just about every aspect is elevated. An aspect that stood out to me was the detail of blood gushing from headshots; man, I dare say I’ve never witnessed such detailed bullets to the head on the big screen, gore lover’s delight.
As for Keanu, he delivers arguably his most physically demanding performance to date. Now for the ultimate question, "Is it better than the first?" Ultimately it depends on the viewer, but in my book it’s as good as.
Undoubtedly, this instalment contains more in terms of visuals; but I feel that in exchange for optical appeal, it lacks a bit of heart.