Rather than action, this ought to be filed under fantasy. Like the first film, this goes beyond the usual action film to an underground world where bad guys can kill a swathe of even worse guys in the street and no one will bat an eyelid.
The game-like feel continues into the luxury Continental Hotel which is both a safe haven for bad guys to meet and where no killing happens. It’s a members club overseen by the magnificent man on the desk and run by Winston (Ian McShane). There is also a council of 12 most senior members of the worst crime gangs in the world, keeping order over the crime world. Finally, there’s an incredibly modern way that assassins find out about job opportunities. Why should it be different from other industries?
The first film seemed original and during that one, Keanu Reeves’ retired assassin, John Wick was looking for revenge for the killing of his dog, because his wife bought it for him before she died.
This time he’s after a note she left him which is in the car stolen by the same Russian thugs. Why he doesn’t just ask for it – he is on first name terms with the big boss and seen as a legend by all – I don’t know. Other than the opportunity for car chases and lots of killing, much more than I’ve seen in any war film.
In the middle of it, he is asked to do one last job – as he seems to be back ‘working’ – which he initially turns down. Then we see him arrive in Rome and its business as usual. This dark-suited assassin kicks the life out of everyone who gets in his way, one by one, as only happens in films.
It’s not as fun as the first one, as that was so original but the advanced choreography and style touches make it good watch.
Oh, and you will never look at people who live in the streets the same again.