Boooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnggggg! (Rant warning)
John Wick: Chapter 2 sees the return of Keanu Reeves as the titular character. This time around, our assassin with a heart of gold has to go back for one last job. You see, we can’t have a film that doesn’t have the first 45 minutes be boring as hell expositional vomit that does nothing. You could cut 70% of this film and miss nothing.
Anyway, Johnny has to kill a mob boss, only to be then targeted by the person who ordered the hit. There isn’t really a narrative reason for this, other than to keep the bullets flying. In an absurdly overwrought story, we see John travel from place to place and shoot dozens of people in the face.
The action scenes are fine, but they go on way too long. The opening of the film has John getting his car back, and promptly destroying it. Then we get to have a nice long chunk of sentimentalizing garbage that I had hoped the sequel would forego. Everyone in this film is stupid, and written in a way that shows no character growth. Instead we have a bunch of faceless goons for Wick to kill.
Also, you think Wick is a smart person? He isn’t. His character makes incredibly stupid decisions throughout—once again to just give an excuse for more action. The only decent portions of the film come too late, are too long, and by that time I was already wanting the movie to end.
The super-secret world of Wick is on full display here, and aside from making including seriously gendered and archaic scenes of women in secretarial positions from the 1950s, nothing really interesting happens. The secret society in this one is completely ridiculous, and whoever crafted the script needs to calm down on including so many pointless intricacies.
Perhaps the biggest drag in the whole debacle is the villain Santino (Riccardo Scamarcio), who might be the worst actor I have ever seen try to pull off the whole tough guy thing. He goes from cocky, to scared, to tough guy with no rhyme or reason, and the concluding arc of his story is so stupidly predictable that your head will hurt.
How the hell does this movie have high reviews? I thought the first John Wick was overlong and just okay, but it blows the water out of this pile of crap. The narrative in this film is so painfully stupid that is has become clear to me that Hollywood executives think they can get away with producing anything. “But, Jay, he reloads all cool and tactical like”—so what? I have literally heard that as a defense of this awful film. Watch a shooting competition if that is all you want to see.
The film has done a good job in setting the lowest bar imaginable for action films. This is little more than pubescent masculine fantasy. Do not waste your time. 2/10