By: Troy Kelly
John Wick: Chapter 2, starring Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane and Riccardo Scamarcio, is an action film set in present day Rome.
The movie’s main conflict begins when John Wick is betrayed by a man, Santino D’Antonio, who cashes in a favor after John tries to abandon his life as an assassin. Because of D’Antonio, John’s his time away from the business is cut short, and after he is betrayed, John realizes he needs to kill D’Antonio. John declines D’Antonio the favor he is blood-bounded to repay at first, but begrudgingly accepts after D’Antonio bombs his house, and he is encouraged by his good friend and the owner of the NY Continental hotel, Winston, to repay his dues.
Photo Credit: Google Images
D’Antonio asks John to kill his sister, Gianna, who has the seat at the high table that D’Antonio desires. After she decided to slit her wrists rather than being assassinated as John holds her hand, he shoots her in the head in order to kill her before she is condemned to hell because of her suicide. Her bodyguard, Cassius, however, sees John exiting Gianna’s room, and draws his weapons in pursuit.
Along with being preoccupied by Cassius, John is also attacked by D’Antonio’s own men, and realizes he is being betrayed. John and Cassius are only slightly injured by the time they crash into the Contential, where no blood is allowed to be spilled, an important recurring plot point in the movie. However, while John is resting there, D’Antonio opens an account worth 7 million for killing John, which he sends out to all assassins in the area.
John is then attacked on the subway by multiple assassins, including D’Antonio’s mute bodyguard, Ares, as he is pursued. Already injured by a gunshot to the stomach, John manages to fend off Cassius for long enough on a subway train until he can stab him in the aorta, and retreat. John then seeks the help of a homeless man, asking that he take him to the Bowery King.
When John awakes, he is in a white bed and his injuries have been tended to. The scene then cuts to a rooftop on which many pigeons are being kept in cages. The Bowery King is awaiting John there, and the two talk until John asks for his aid. At first, the Bowery King refuses, but after John explains the circumstances, he obliges, giving John seven rounds to kill D’Antonio. After D’Antonio’s whereabouts are identified, John sets out to enact revenge on the traitor.
The fight choreography in the movie was amazing. The fight scenes were more real than other movies, they took time with each one to really show his fighting prowess. Usually the protagonist fight scenes are cut short because they want to make the protagonist seem like a God, but with John Wick the fights showcase this mortality, and needs to take time with each of his opponents. The way John uses anything he can get his hands on during the fight is showcases that human survival instinct and mastery of the assassin’s craft, too. It makes the fight seem more real, like that’s how the fight scene would happen in real life.
The video cinematography featured in John Wick: Chapter 2 was stunning. It contributed to the appeal of most of the movie’s fight scenes, making them so much better. The movie’s final fight takes place in a mirror corridor, so the cinematography features not only shots that capture the multiple reflections, but also convey the confusion of the characters, making the fight more entertaining for the viewers.
Overall, the film was amazing, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes action films. It is a very quality film that gives an insight on the struggles of the assassin’s life and the juxtaposition of how cool, yet miserable it may be.