Most people will say the sequel never exceeds the original, but sometimes you’ll find one of those movies that does turn out better than the first. In this case, though, conventional wisdom can be trusted.
To my disappointment, “John Wick Chapter 2” failed to meet the high expectations of the first film “John Wick.” In the original, John Wick was a silent and somber assassin, hell-bent on avenging the injustice the mafia committed against him by stealing his prized car and killing the puppy his dead wife had left him.
The action, the acting and the plot in our first outing with John Wick gave the audience the awe-inspiring sensation action movies should create in viewers. “John Wick Chapter 2” never accomplished that feat.
Though the plot was easy to follow, it seemed as if the scenes were exceedingly rushed. Because of this, I felt like the audience wasn’t given the opportunity to feel any emotion toward the characters involved, especially when there was ample time and space for solid character development.
As for the acting, it seemed a bit watered down for such an intense movie. Though assassins are supposed to have a stoic, hard-hearted persona about them, the acting for John Wick and assassin Cassian was, quite frankly, bland.
The banter between Wick and Cassian was intended to spark a dark humor in the face of danger, but all it did was make me uncomfortable because of the unnatural way they spoke. There was absolutely no impression or inflection in the words they were saying. It felt like they were repeating their lines rather than giving them life.
John Wick, in particular, had the worst character performance. What may have been an attempt to create the impression that this ex-assassin is secretly an awkward introvert instead made Wick seem like he was new to the game of the underground, inter-workings of an assassin.
He was awkward to the point that he came off as someone who was confused, which threw me off when trying to connect with John Wick’s character. I felt like I was more aware of what was happening in the scenes than Wick was.
The only positive remark I can make about this film is the excellent cinematography and choreography of the action scenes. Wick’s fight scenes never failed to live up to the expectations of a renowned assassin. The smooth interplay between shooting and fighting styles coincided well together. Had the movie focused more on the story rather than the violence, I believe the sequel would have lived up to the original.
Ironically enough, IMDb rated “John Wick Chapter 2” with a high 9/10 and Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a solid 90 percent.
Maybe I’m a bit more cynical in the viewing of this film, but as someone who fell in love with the first “John Wick,” my expectations were set high from the beginning. In essence, though, I felt as if “John Wick Chapter 2” is just another over-rated action movie.