[Review] John Wick 2

The year 2014 marked a comeback. After an appreciable thriller without being crazy (Knock Knock), Keanu Reeves returned to a cinematographic genre that he masters and which …

The year 2014 marked a comeback. After an appreciable thriller without being crazy ( Knock Knock ), Keanu Reeves returned to a cinematographic genre that he masters and which has allowed him to develop and consolidate his current notoriety. Of course, we want to talk about action films . John Wick’s release that year showed viewers two things: Chad Stahelski’s love for good photographic direction and ultra-choreographic and expertly staged action scenes, and that at 50 years old Keanu Reeves is still able to kick buttocks like in his youth.

Three years later, it’s another comeback that touches the cinema, that of John Wick with John Wick 2 . This sequel, still directed by Chad Stahelski, raises two questions: does it do as well as the first film? And above all, does it do it without disgusting us?

Back in black
2 hours long (20 minutes more than its predecessor), John Wick 2 literally starts off on top of the wheels. It must be said that you are not here to watch La La Land . John Wick doesn’t have time for all of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s songs. Him, all he wants is to recover his car, stolen in the previous film, in order to finally enjoy his retirement.

Except that once the vehicle is found, not without John Wick having smashed a large number of enemies on the way, the assassin’s rest will be short-lived. So as not to divulge anything to you , let’s just say that John Wick has a debt that he is obligated to honor, and that it is going to shed blood. A lot of blood. If the hitman sent 84 people to their hometowns in the first installment, that’s nothing compared to the number of corpses he leaves behind in John Wick 2 .

The gun-fu do you want in here
The main strength of John Wick 2 is its gunfight . And you might as well tell you right away, fans of cinematographic shootings will be in for a treat. More numerous, the gun-fu scenes , this mixture between martial arts and firearms so dear to the previous part, are still just as nervous, dynamic and well done.
The long hours of training of Keanu Reeves in weapons paying and it shows on the screen. We find a malicious pleasure to see the Canadian actor chain murders as we chain pistachios during an aperitif.

Far from playing on a shaking camera and filming the same scene from several angles to show all the intensity, Chad Stahelski prefers to rely on anamorphic lenses and a wide screen effect to fit the action into a single sequence shot. . This good management of the image makes it possible to take full advantage of the (many) fights in the film, while highlighting the decor.

Whether in the Roman catacombs or the corridors of the New York subway, John Wick 2 offers a remarkable photograph, signed Dan Lausten ( Crimson Peak ). The palm goes to a sequence in a gallery of mirrors which, by a skillful play of light and angle, manages to break the spectator’s perception of space.

Mythological exploration
More than a new murderous escapade of Keanu Reeves, John Wick 2 is more interested in the hidden world of assassins. This is what really makes John Wick 2 an effective sequel, this opportunity for the viewer to learn more about this criminal mythology set up by Derek Kolstad and Chad Stahelski. Especially since this secret universe, which is no longer confined to a New York hotel, is carried by excellent secondary characters, Ian McShane in the lead.

For John Wick 2 , the British actor resumes his role of Winston, the enigmatic and intriguing boss of the Continental, and enjoys a more significant screen presence (which is not to displease us).

As for the newbies, Ruby Rose, seen in Orange is the New Black , shines here in her interpretation of a silent assassin. As for Laurence Fishburne, we will be careful not to reveal anything about his role, except that he is visibly happy to play alongside Keanu Reeves again (the two men befriended on the filming of Matrix ).