If John Wick: Chapter 2 becomes a bit repetitive with its insanely high body count of Reeves blasting through his opponents with precision kills (both amusing and inventive), it has enough style to keep the blood train chugging with enthusiasm. What better place to stage a shootout than an elaborate hall of mirrors art exhibit, a design so lavish with color and perspective to both dazzle and disorient. I can’t even imagine how maddening it must have been to shoot this sequence with so many reflective surfaces, lights, stairs, turning walls and fantastically violent action. It’s scenes like this that make John Wick’s world surreal and almost cartoonish in its overly gorgeous cinematography, but it’s a world that’s fun to get lost within its bloody carnage.
While John Wick: Chapter 2 does attempt to outdo itself with bigger stunts, it thankfully doesn’t shirk any of its giddy spirit, simple tone, violent charm or involving characters. Reeves shines particularly bright in a role that requires him to display loneliness and rage with very few words.
The surrounding cast is just as strong with the likes of Franco Nero and John Leguizamo in roles that are small, but never feel wasted. Laurence Fishburne plays the most notable of supporting characters as a cackling king of secret hobo mobsters. When even someone as silly and odd as that can exist in an action picture and still maintain its grit, that’s a major feat for a film. Most action sequels tend to slow down or lose sight of what they’re about. John Wick appears to just be getting started and I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.