John Wick's Return Is a 'Wicked Blast'

'Chapter 2' is bloody yet beautiful, say critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2017 11:15 AM CST

In his first hurrah, John Wick managed to kill an incredible 84 people. You can expect the count to rise in John Wick: Chapter 2, hailed as beautiful despite all the blood. Wick, an assassin played by Keanu Reeves, embarks on a final mission but ends up with a $7 million bounty on his head. Here's what critics are saying:

  • "You would not expect a sequel to a Keanu Reeves shoot-em-up to be one of the more engrossing and beautiful films of the year, but hey, it's 2017—there have been a lot of surprises," writes Barry Hertz at the Globe and Mail. Yes, there's a lot of blood, but it comes in some of the "most artfully arranged shots in recent cinematic memory," with stunning locations as a backdrop. This "is an eye-popping feast that defies genre expectations."
  • Stephanie Zacharek credits much of the film's success to its leading man. The "beautifully orchestrated" violence is "mostly semi-comical" and Reeves "knows what's awful and what's funny about every scenario, cluing us in with an invisible wink," she write at Time. "The pleasures of John Wick: Chapter 2 may be even greater than those of its predecessor."

  • Unlike many sequels, "Chapter 2 justifies the existence of more Wick without overstaying its welcome," writes David Sims at the Atlantic. Instead of trying to "match the emotional heft of the original," the filmmakers focus on the violence and impressive "worldbuilding," a "fantastic decision," according to Sims. Fans of the original will be happy to know Chapter 2 also suggests another sequel is in store.
  • It could have been awful, but Chapter 2 is "one of the most fun action pictures in recent memory" partly due to its "lighthearted tone" and sense of humor, writes Adam Graham at Detroit News. Reeves "gives Wick the charred soul that powers the film," but the supporting cast is just as good, with Common delivering "his best-yet screen performance," Graham says. Overall, "it's a wicked blast."
(More movie review stories.)

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