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Movie Review: ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Is Twice the Action, None of the Fat

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John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Ready for guns, guns and more guns? Read our movie review of John Wick: Chapter 2:

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he second chapter of John Wick’s saga is mindful of its already established decadents, yet still bold enough to go bigger. It has already been established in the previous movie that if you do something as stupid as kill the dog of retired hitman John Wick, he’ll come after you in a blizzard of bullets, punches and stabs. So you can understand how violent he becomes in the opening scene of John Wick: Chapter 2 when Russian mobsters steal his car.

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The movie should be called ‘John Wick and Guns.’

While he works his way through a seemingly endless swarm of gangsters, a Russian mob boss (Peter Stormare) gushes about the events of the previous movie to bring us up to speed. He and other members of the secret world of organized crime know not to mess with Wick, especially when he acquires a new dog. If he asks you to watch his dog, you better pray nothing bad befalls that pooch.

The titular hero (reprised by a subtle and gritty Keanu Reeves) finds himself being called upon by old partner Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) to fulfill a blood oath of the crime world and kill someone for him. Wick refuses and D’Antonio blows up his house. Don’t worry – the dog survives. Had he not, D’Antonio would already be dead. Homeless and dirty, walking the streets of New York with his canine companion, he attempts to play by the rules of the hitman blood oath as stated by crime leader Winston (Ian McShane) before taking out D’Antonio.

Wick isn’t too concerned about D’Antonio’s request to assassinate his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini) to take some high seat on the crime council. He just needs to know where and when, which happens to be Rome during a concert. He knows enough people in the area to provide him with an underground map of the concert area, an arsenal of weapons to take out the attacking guards and a bullet-protective suit that can blend in easily for a night of drinks. What starts as a simple enough assassination job quickly snowballs into a larger fight as Wick soon finds the entire world of hired killers gunning for him.

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

John Wick and more guns.

Much like the first movie, the script is a simple enough story to weave some intense action sequences with words used more sparingly than the bullets, but just as precise. There’s no long and drawn out monologue about how Wick’s loss of his house personifies his dead wife or how D’Antonio was always jealous of his sister. There’s no vapid banter or verbal threats between Wick and his opponents. When Wick and his old friend Cassian (Common) first meet, their dialogue is limited before they start shooting each other. They both have jobs and have no time to be chummy. Even D’Antonio’s lead bodyguard, a silent killer played by the intimidating Ruby Rose, doesn’t say much through her sign language. Rose had quite the mouth on her in xXx: The Rise of Xander Cage, but seems to be just as cocky and powerful without any words.

Related: Movie Review: ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ Is a Fine Slice of Action Cheese

Similar sequences are repeated from the first film as when Wick finds himself running and gunning through a concert of techno music and flashing lights. But these scenes are heightened by the more beautiful set design. When Wick finds himself running for his life from the concert, he leads his attackers into darkly lit ruins with a neon tint to the lighting. The fight continues all the way outside of these ruins where Wick and Cassian shoot at each other in the street before punching each other down flights of stairs. Their bout is practically a ballet of gunplay and wrestling, at point turning into a UFC fight where Keanu wraps his legs around Common’s head to gain the upper hand.

John Wick Chapter 2 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

John Wick and another gun.

That fight eventually carries into a hotel where they are not allowed to fight and decide to have a drink together. It’s a bombastic series of fights with an air of comedy for the audacity, but still admirable for putting such effort into creating an overblown world of secret hitmen.

Read more to get the rest of the movie review for John Wick: Chapter 2:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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