What a work of art this was! Amazing. Once again.
I'm not sure it lives up to the first one entirely though. There was something special about that one - and it wasn't only because it was new. The action choreography felt polished in a way this one didn't, and the characters were always introduced in such a perfect way. The dialog wasn't heavy, but each word was chosen well, and they spoke words you remembered. Not that I can recall any of them right now, but it was the kind of script that really told the story, with both visuals and words. Every word as important and heavy with significance.
This one starts similarly, and I love the way Peter Stormare re-introduces John Wick! I love that they managed to fit in another famous Swedish actor in that first part too, and though I thought he might have a bigger role I'm happy for the cameo. Nice little introduction, and twist, and that pretty much presents the style, and character, of the movie that follows. All doesn't go according to plan, but he just rolls with it. He's that kind of guy.
After the vendetta of the prequel is done with a new character is introduced. Santino (Riccardo Scamarcio) knocks on John's door and hands him a marker - one that can't be refused, but John says he is done. So Santino blows up his house, and the pictures of his past burn up with it...
Suddenly John is back in the game, a reassigned hitman, and we're taken into the world of the higher table and the criminal underground, of which there's such an air of power and mystery. The atmosphere is like a blend between Underworld, Wanted, Constantine and The Matrix - and Laurence Fishburne has a role to play this time as well. Happy to see him again.
Also happy to see Common! He plays one of the villains - though it's a strange movie in that even hitmen with a vengeance treat each other with respect and courtesy. Like killing is OK. Some things however, are not OK, and once John has fulfilled the terms of the marker, he sets out on his personal quest of vengeance again - this time with a new target. Ruby Rose is another notable adversary btw. Great performance.
Claudia Gerini too, and Ian McShane is still a favorite. There's just something about that look.
The fights are intense. The shooting. The choreography. It looks painful. Most importantly it looks stylish. They fight through both common and uncommon sceneries; both run-down and pompous. They fall down stairs and climb to higher standing, and in the end the one thing that makes this movie (and the last) so special is that artistry! They're not just creative, but beautifully orchestrated fights. Violence with class, and an added layer of art and ambiguity that makes the movie almost seem culturally enriching to watch. I hope this doesn't make anyone actually find a beauty in real violence, but it's perfect for the movie world. The hitman dimension.
I just love the world they create, how cold yet colorful it is, and judging by the ending we'll be entering it again soon! I'm looking forward to it already.
You can find my review for the first movie here.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle