Thursday, June 20, 2019

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

I have this line I say to myself whenever a character dies in a movie:  No sequel for you!  I found myself saying that a lot while watching the first John Wick.  I found myself saying it just as much with Chapter 2.  Almost an entire mob outfit dies at his hands, all because Iosef Tarasov saw a car he liked and had to have it.  It wasn’t even about the car, though.  Iosef made the mistake of killing John’s puppy.  Chapter 2 begins with John killing the remnants of the organization, starting with Iosef’s uncle, who had been selling the stolen cars.  Yes, John is out to get his car back, which he promptly totals.

The movie’s real story starts with Santino D’Antonio, who visits John to call in a marker.  He wants his sister, Gianna, killed.  Being that she holds a seat on the underworld’s high council, Santino can’t do it himself.  John initially refuses, but eventually accepts.  Lots of people get in John’s way and die as a result.  Once John completes his mission, a lot more people die.

In fact, Santino calls in a hit on John.  (As he points out, what kind of brother would he be if he didn’t?)  So, yeah.  The rest of the movie is John evading and/or killing bad guys while searching for Santino so that Santino might be denied a major part in Chapter 3.

Sure, the plot is little more than a vehicle for the fight scenes.  And yes, the plot is at least coherent.  Still, you’re not thinking about watching this because of the plot.  You came for the fight scenes, which are as impressive as the first movie.  In this regard, there’s a part of me that wonders why one needs a coherent plot line for action like this.  You could easily have three (or, shortly, four) separate movies with different characters.

That’s how stylized the fight scenes are.  John Wick has earned the right to be called franchise.  I’ll be going into Chapter 3 with a pretty good idea of what I’m getting.  And yes, there is a story going on.  It’s nothing deep, nor is it high art, but there is something to follow between fight scenes.

So, I will be seeing Chapter 3 and, probably, Chapter 4 when it comes out.  The funny thing is that I’ve never particularly been a fan of fight movies.  This is most likely the result of having access to movies at the library and paying for the movie theater by the month.  You come to realize that an action movie can be exciting.

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