Set directly after the first film (more or less), this movie begins with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) getting his car back from the last of the mafia who killed his dog. Then he’s ready to retire once again, only to be found out by some Russian gangster looking for more power who also has a hold on Wick in some way.
I appreciated the ruse that this was just going to be another revenge movie. But it’s not, sure it starts with him getting his car back from the uncle and brother of the people he was hunting in the last movie, but soon after that it becomes a movie that still has all the realistic, super-violence the first one had and then some. But what the first one was somewhat lacking in was story. Not that there’s anything wrong with keeping things simple with a revenge-based movie (or any genre of film for that matter, keep it simple filmmakers, things don’t need to be needlessly complex, well, ever really…). But this film takes the time to really set up what turns into a pretty good story, with tons of celebrity cameos and super-violence as John Wick 1 did.
My only real complaint about this film is that just after Wick’s house gets blown up, there’s a large section of film where John visits with many characters so he can sit down with them one-on-one and they can exposit something at him. I don’t mind this happening here and there in any movie, but in this film it happens for about half-an-hour or so in a row and just makes me ache for the non-stop violence I expected. It does get to the totally awesome, realistic(ish) assassin-versus-assassin badassery I came here to watch, but it takes a bit. Still, this would have been forgivable if it just doesn’t go on for so darn LONG! A half hour is a lot of screentime, you know.
8.5: Great story and action
-1: Meanders too long on exposition