All movies require a suspension of disbelief. This means that we as viewers must throw logic out the window for the sake of enjoyment. Some movies are more believable than others. It is in this sense that John Wick: Chapter 2 pushes Hollywood’s conventional boundaries.
The premise of the movie is based around its protagonist, played by Keanu Reeves. John Wick, otherwise known as “The Boogeyman”. Simply put, he is the most dangerous man on Earth. As stated in the opening scene, he once killed 3 men in a bar with a pencil (with a pencil!).
Now, it’s not hard to believe that a guy like Keanu Reeves can be a stone-cold killer. After all, he’s played tough-guy characters like Johnny Utah in Point Break, Jack Traven in Speed, and Neo in The Matrix. Keanu is a seasoned veteran of the action genre -– he isn’t the issue.
The problem with John Wick 2 is the impossible situations that its lead character finds his way out of. Wick killed 77 people in the first film. But the sequel makes that look like child’s play. In Chapter 2, “The Boogeyman” takes down 128 men. And he does so in spectacular fashion.
Towards the middle of the movie, Wick assassinates a high-profile target. Afterwards, he cuts through countless henchmen in the depths of an Italian cavern. Being a seasoned killer, he stashes a variety of semi-automatic weapons around for him to use. He takes down 65 men in the cavern, enduring a mere couple of scratches in the process.
Okay, I expected this out of an action movie, you might say. And it’s true: viewers of the genre are accustomed to witnessing unbelievable, death-defying acts. But John Wick 2 cranks that to the limit and beyond. Another prevailing issue is the stark contrast in the way the protagonist is viewed compared to its predecessor.
In the original, John Wick is the most widely-feared man on the planet. Those who know him and his reputation avoid him at all costs. However, in this film they treat him as if he’s a regular civilian. Maybe it’s just that these characters are stupid. Or perhaps it’s the allure of the 7 million dollar contract on his head.
Would you go after “The Boogeyman” for $7 million? Would you go right for his jugular knowing full-well you’ll probably be massacred in gruesome fashion? These characters have no problem with it. It’s like playing the lottery except, you know, their lives are at stake. So they dive right in, on the off chance that Wick slips up and they hit the jackpot.
Critics loved this film, and I’m wondering why. Typically, an ultraviolet gore-fest like this would get two thumbs down from them. Why is John Wick 2 the exception? Because they bought in.
Sure, the killings are excessive. Yes, John Wick is a borderline superhuman killing machine. But if you buy in, blindly believing that this world is real, you will enjoy it. Despite its unbelievable elements, John Wick: Chapter 2 can be a whole lot of fun to watch.