ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"John Wick: Chapter 2" Movie Review

Updated on May 14, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

John Wick: Chapter 2
John Wick: Chapter 2 | Source

Keanu Reeves was all but forgotten when John Wick barreled onto the scene in 2014, having been relegated to the likes of 2011’s Henry’s Crime and 2013’s Man of Tai Chi, which together made $200,000 (that’s thousand dollars) at the box office. But John Wick proved to be a bit of a renaissance for Reeves, showing he still had some gas in the tank, provided he had a decent script and a capable director.

Original writer Derek Kolstad, director Chad Stahelski, and Reeves are back at it again for John Wick: Chapter 2, and not only does it pick up where the first left off (cinematically as well as contextually), it actually improves on the formula and reminds us that while Reeves may not be a dramatic, nuanced thespian he has the charisma and chops to carry a movie... and, more importantly, that “sequel” isn’t necessarily a bad word.

Having dispatched of New York gang kingpin Viggo Tarasov and his weasley son Iosef in the first film, Wick is still desperate to put his hitman life in the rearview mirror as Chapter 2 begins. First, though, he needs to wrap up one last loose end and get his beloved ‘69 Mustang Cobra back from Viggo’s brother Abram (Peter Stormare). The expertly choreographed prologue sets the tone within the first few seconds, as Wick careens through the streets of New York City and eventually dispatches with a dozen toughs in the garage where the car is being kept. Equal measures of body slams (for Wick’s enemies) and belly laughs (for the audience) remind us that the John Wick production team may take their fisticuffs seriously, but they can also keep their collective tongues firmly in their cheek.

After getting his car back, Wick retreats to his house in the hills, but his peace doesn’t last long. Italian crime boss Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) comes calling to collect on the marker he holds after he helped Wick retire from the criminal world. D’Antonio wants his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini) dead, so he can take her seat at the criminal world’s “High Table”, and he wants Wick to do the job. And since the criminal world (at least in the John Wick universe) adheres to a strict set of gentlemanly rules, Wick has no choice but to get return to his hitman ways.

Kolstad’s script may adhere to a tried and true formula (bulletproof anti-hero gets sucked back in for one last job), but how he goes about it is both smart and refreshing. The only thing we know for sure is that Wick will survive the day (Stahelski has already announced a third and final installment is in the works), but beyond that, anything goes… and it often does. Kolstad made sure to expand on the story and not just regurgitate the same plot, and not only does Chapter 2 answer some of the questions that arose in the first film, it also has plenty of fun doing it. Recurring characters and situations will bring a big smile to fans of the original film, and new tidbits (the Pope joke is a perfect example) help elevate the sequel even further.

The cast, too, never seems to be mailing it in, instead playing every scene with a wink and a nod. From returning faces like John Leguizamo and Ian McShane to new additions like Common and Ruby Rose, they all know exactly what kind of film they’re making and have a ball doing it. Further kudos to Stahelski, who served as the stunt coordinator in the Matrix trilogy, for bringing Laurence Fishburne and Reeves back together. Brilliant.

From start to finish, Chapter Two is a win, taking seriously only what it needs to (including the fight choreography and Dan Laustsen’s gorgeous cinematography) and having fun with everything else. And it certainly knows how to set up what promises to be one heck of a one of the most surprisingly worthwhile franchises in recent years.


4/5 stars

'John Wick: Chapter 2' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)