Keanu Reeves is back for the sequel to the acclaimed action flick that surprised everyone with its simple narrative approach yet excellent choreography. Nothing much has changed here from point A to Z and that can be a good and a bad thing. It is a sequel that works well in most of the essential areas besides some oversight in the pacing department.
The beginning sequence is high octane no doubt but it doesn't carry me through the overlong setup for the main plot. A few tense lines of dialogue or unforeseen twists would have sufficed to keep things going past a resting heartbeat in pacing. With that said the content in between Act 1 and 3 has some very well lined up shots but it isn't until the meaty portion of Act 2 that John is back on the job and the familiar, entertaining assassin vibes rush back.
As with many action blockbusters in recent memory Chapter 2 takes the globetrotting route, this time to Rome. This creates a nice change of locale and the atmosphere is fresh in comparison to just New York. New York is still involved in act 3 however when John continues to pursue his main target. No spoilers here.
The action sequences are once again amazingly choreographed and as expected up the ante from the first movie. That is something that is very hard to do following the first film. So to Chapter 2's credit it goes leaps and bounds above expectations in this aspect. Wick's kills are even more creative and culminate in ultra satisfying action with NO SHAKY CAM, thankfully. A horrible trend in the action movie genre that takes fluid choreography (if that) and botches it with erratic camera movement and angles. Every punch, slash and bullet is clearly visible and in a rapid fashion which deserves to be commended. This is the reason i go to see these movies above everything else. It is so uniquely well done in comparison to countless other action movies.
John Wick Chapter 2 manages to supersede its predecessor in every conceivable way. Does it follow the same template for the most part? Yes it does. But it doesn't detract from the sequels clear strengths that excite me with the prospect of future installments in the now established franchise (which is clearly set up at the end).
8.75/10 Admittedly on the formulaic side of the action spectrum but with massive advantages in setting, choreography and overall production value. Highly recommended. Action fans rejoice!