Sunday, June 4, 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2

2017, Chad Tahelski (John Wick) -- cinema

Chapter 2 picks up a few hours after the first one, as John tracks down his car, the one Iosef stole when he killed John Wick's puppy in the first movie. He ends up in front Peter Stormare, a face that I didn't realize was perfect for this franchise until I saw him in it, and then it made perfect sense. This gangster also understands the tale of Baba Yaga and does not argue when John comes to his desk. The funny thing is that John destroys his car while recovering it. That's just John. He drops the car with Aurelio and intends to return to his retirement, re-sealing the guns n gold in the basement, even refusing to do a job for the man who holds his marker, the man that helped him get out of the business. That's the mistake that makes a sequel.

This movie is less about John and more about the mythology of the world he lives in. This is truly a mythological world of high class assassins, who have such vast numbers that when John gets a bounty put on his head, almost an entire public park checks their phones. If there are so many assassins, who is left to kill but each other? What overall purpose do they serve besides the death of these ruling families, that are mentioned?

We are drawn to Italy to see this world in its full glory, as John is forced to do "one last job" getting the sense this is where this organization, this world, got its start. And what a world it is, from the unsurprising tailors of incredibly high quality (and beauty) tactical suits and sommeliers to provide your favourite weapon. The families who run everything, have rules to follow but are first to break said rules. The working men, the John Wicks, are the ones who take the fall.

It leads John to break Ian McShane's cardinal rule, no business on Continental grounds, and thus he gets a massive hit placed on his head. We saw the consequences of such an act in the first, but this is Baba Yaga. All others are his lesser, including the wonderfully sexy androgynous (and deaf) Ares (what a NAME!)  played by Ruby Rose. The action is again a beautiful ballet of ultra violence. From the sideways way John holds his gun as he confirms head shots, to the choreographed combats in stunning locations, the movie does not shirk on style. If anything, this one goes higher, more over the top as the underground of NYC is replaced by the decorated ruins and streets of Italy, and then back again to NY. Man, this movie looks beautiful.

And they don't get the chance to kill  his dog this time.