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Watched: 18 August

More of the same, which is to say that there are lots of carefully-choreographed action scenes in which Keanu shoots people in the head as they attack his titular hitman one or two at a time, just like the first John Wick. The most interesting parts of both of these films – by a long stretch – have been the scenes in which we observe the peculiar code of the Continental Hotel, and learn more about the worldwide network of contract killers who use it as a safe haven. For example, my favourite thing in John Wick: Chapter 2 is the scene in which three characters who we have just watched trying to kill one another suddenly end up in the hotel bar, where the spilling of blood is forbidden and they are bound by their unwritten law to act cordially; it’s quite a surreal moment, and I suppose it’s to the credit of the writer and director that you’re left wanting to see much more of this kind of thing, though it’s worth pointing out that Jim Jarmusch did it first and with more panache and weirdness in The Limits Of Control. I felt a little glum whenever the action moved away from the Wickiverse’s world-within-a-world into another long, drawn-out passage of shooting and stabbing and kicking and punching, but I guess all of that puts bums on seats and I can’t deny that it’s fun on occasion as the supposedly-retired hitman lays waste to dozens of faceless, nameless henchmen. There’s lots of gun porn, perhaps even more than the first film, and Reeves is well-suited to the role, but it’s a shame that John Leguizamo doesn’t feature more. (***)


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