JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 loses some of the original’s freshness, but it retains a tonne of entertainment value. The action scenes are inventive and bloody, of particular note a glossy ENTER THE DRAGON homage (yes, it’s a homage, not a lift: Enter the Dragon doesn’t get rights to mirrored hall fight scenes for perpetuity) and an almost casual silenced gun fight that quite literally goes over the heads of an oblivious crowd. Delving further into the world of assassins doesn’t hold up to, well, any scrutiny, though it does gift us with the pleasing sight of the assassins’ switchboard staffed by prim 40s secretaries with innocuous arm tattoos. Hokum as the mythology is, some of the bit players (notably Ian McShane and Peter Serafinowicz) look like they’re having a hell of a lot of fun explaining it all. It’s a ridiculously good-looking film too, all neon and shadows and a striking bathhouse assassination scene working out neater and more strangely beautiful than you might expect. If only more polish had been applied to the script and the lead performance, because Keanu Reeves is out-acted by his suit. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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