Thoughts and Reactions to Watching ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ For the First Time

Two months to go until the latest chapter of the John Wick franchise drops. I’m moving right along as I continue exploring its three predecessors for the first time.

Going into the second film, I knew nothing about it. I didn’t know the plot synopsis, nor I had even seen the trailer. If it were up to me, I feel that the first film alone could have stood on its own. But this is Hollywood, and things don’t work like that for the most part!

In chronological order, here are my thoughts and reactions to John Wick: Chapter 2:

  • Film opens with a car chasing after a motorcycle: The parallels to the Matrix franchise continue, where the second film leaps right into the action.
  • John Wick arrives to take back his car: Seems like he wasn’t as upset over the car if he’s only getting to it now. No judgment on that. At least the car is still in shape. Daisy is gone. #Justice4Daisy
  • After he rams into multiple cars: How is he still conscious?
  • John and Abram Tarasov make a toast to peace: After all of that?! What does he have up his sleeve?
  • The time stamp is 14:18 when we get the title: That’s quite a wait for the title to show up. Then again, I say this in an era where titles, more often than not, won’t show until right before the credits.
  • John pulls out a birthday card from his late wife out of the glove compartment: Okay. I can see a reason why he was desperate to get the car back.
  • The pitbull he rescued at the end of the previous film runs up to him: Oh thank goodness he’s still okay! He better stay that way throughout the duration of the film.
  • He bags up clothes and weapons and stores them away, likely to never access again: Oh, so he really thinks he’s retiring this time. Something tells me that ain’t going to last long.
  • When it’s revealed the dog doesn’t have a name: What?! Why?!
  • When John’s house is set on fire: The dog better be okay!
  • When John and his dog walk to New York City: They’ve been walking that whole time?!
  • When they arrive at the Continental Hotel: Of course we’d return here! Where else could he go?
  • When John retrieves a case of spare clothes from a secured vault: So… he had a set of clothes for “work” stored elsewhere this whole time? That’s odd, but given the state of his house, it also kind of works out.
  • The performance of the singer at the coronation: For some reason, this feels like this film’s version of the opera performance in The Fifth Element.
  • Gianna is freshening up in the bathroom when John suddenly appears with a quick change of angle in the mirror: That is creepy — almost horror level.
  • When Gianna takes her own life: I’m not sure what I was expecting from that scene, but it certainly wasn’t that.
  • When John shoots at security guards in the concert crowd: This… reminds me too much of the Las Vegas shooting, which happened the same year this film came out. I don’t like that.
  • John and Cassian speak civilly at the lounge in Rome’s Continental Hotel: It’s so weird how they go from trying to kill each other to drinking at the bar, and that’s all because of where they’re at.
  • A contract is sent out to kill John: Okay. Already from the first film, I thought it was a stretch as to how many people knew who he is. But this is just ridiculous!
  • John and Cassian interrogate each other at a subway station: This is a very clean-looking station. As someone who has ridden BART many times, I find it hard to believe that this place is real.
  • Reveal of Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King: Wait… what?!
  • When the Bowery King reveals to his companion, “Mr. Wick doesn’t remember, but we met many years ago, before my ascension.”: Yeah, we know, Morpheus!
  • The interactions between John and the Bowery King: This is so different from how their characters were in The Matrix. It’s just so weird to see!
  • The shootout in that mirror exhibit: It’s like that one scene from Enter the Dragon, but with guns.
  • John shoots and kills Santino at the lounge at the Continental: Well… he’s getting his membership revoked.
  • John collects his dog: That goodness he’s still okay. Now give the good boy a name already!
  • John gets a head start as a new contract targeting him is sent out: So where is he going to go?

If I had mixed feelings about the first John Wick, then my impressions about this one are lesser so. I really did not like this one. Sure, the stakes were raised, but ultimately, I just wasn’t fazed by any of it. To me, it was an unnecessary sequel of unnecessary violence, and to be writing this within the week after the mass shootings in both Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, I feel especially drained of this film’s glorification of gun violence.

If I’m being honest, I do not feel compelled to watch the next one. However, knowing that there is only one more before I’m caught up in time, I would like to finish what I have started. Plus, the next one dropped when the Keanussance occurred and I would like to see how, if at all, the third installment contributed to it.

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