Posts Tagged ‘John Wick’

John Wick 2 Movie PosterAfter returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, double crossed John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his head and must fight for survival.

Director Chad Stahelski’s John Wick 2 is everything a sequel should be, it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It’s a near perfect high octane sequel, same lead cast – check, great action – check, more visual style and pulse pounding music – check. While the amount of close combat shootings does get tiresome there’s enough story building by writer Derek Kolstad who expands the hit man’s world and rules to entertain. However, neither Kolstad or Stahelski bog the pace down with unnecessary exposition.

Stahelski’s second outing is gorier with a significantly higher body count and even though the fight scenes may not be a slick as it predecessor, it does what it says on the tin. Stahelski’s offering benefits from a filmed on location feel which grounds the outlandish action, this is rounded off by a fitting soundtrack and score as Keanu Reeves’ Wick battles his way through New York and Rome.

Well executed, pure action entertainment all the way, recommend.

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2015/01/img_0923.jpgA grieving hit man after a series of unfortunate events goes about exacting revenge on his former boss’ son.

Since Rocky 4 the stereotype Russian bad guy films seemed to ease off, however, mirroring the politics of today there appears to be an increasing influx of bad guy Russians, Equalizer, Taken 3, Jack Ryan, Die Hard 5 to name just a few. Amongst the abundance of them comes John Wick with its on location feel and slick action sequences.

Wonderfully directed by Chad Stahelski & David Leitch’s with great action scenes and Derek Kolstad’s solid dialogue Wick goes from one scene to the next exacting revenge on those who have wronged him. Its a fine straightforward affair without the quirkiness or humour of the likes director Guy Ritchie or Paul McGuigan. Stahelski delivers a straight up action thriller with hard hitting violence, blood baths through a hotel, church, cars and blood spattered clubs. Unashamedly from the shootouts to knife fights it oozes cool, complemented by the lighting, sound design, music tracks and score from Tyler Bates.

The cast are unprecedentedly on form with Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki and memorable Willem Dafoe. Bridget Moynahan and Ian McShane cameo with John Leguizamo small part effortlessly stealing the cameo show. Keane Reeves is perfectly cast with his minimal dialogue and screen presence. Even with its dark tone it’s more fun than the comparable excellent Equalizer.

Yes, like all actions there’s an obligatory Jason Statham/Van Damme-like showdown/fight off and John Wick is unavoidably reminiscent of Get Carter and Payback but as a revenge action it is as completely rounded as they come – recommended.