The sequel to John Wick starts at breakneck speed and ends that way. And there are few slow spots in between.
Wick — who is a retired assassin — is dragged out of retirement again when a villain calls in a marker and forces him to kill his crime family sister. Then Wick becomes a target of the woman’s protectors and the brother who now says he must avenge his sister.
A cast of great character actors dot the landscape, including Ian McShane, Common and Laurence Fishburne, and a quick cameo from John Leguizamo. But it’s Reeves who carries the movie, doing his typical monosyllabic character punctuated with lines delivered in monotone.
The stunts are terrific, though director and former stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski — who did the first film — overdoes scenes where villains are shot while Wick is on the floor. Reeves does his own stunts, and for a guy older than 50, is still pretty buff. Or at least buff enough to pull it off.
This is pure guilty pleasure, and while it pretty much looks like the first one, John Wicks: Chapter 2 is a better film than the first one and leads us to chapter 3.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Director: Chad Stahelski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Common, Ian McShane, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Michelle Moynahan, Peter Stormare
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated R for extreme violence and language. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s, Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.