John Wick: Chapter 2 outperforms the first film in storylines, blasts, fight scenes and funny witty moments. It will definitely leave you with an appetite for more, especially seeing how Reeves’ still got it at 52 with amazing choreographed scenes and performing most of his high-stake stunts that were visually shock-full and amplified with fast pacing and unflinching cuts. A great work of cinematography by Dan Laustsen, who playing with low lighting in fight scenes and daring shoots in a room of mirrors combined with great editing, brings the action to a firepower of delight and intense thrill.
The film picks up a few days after the first one. Legendary John Wick (Keanu Reeves) also known as the boogeyman, a former professional assassin, is forced to return to the underworld from his retirement to get revenge against Russian mobsters after the head mobster's nephew stole his cherished Mustang and killed his dog. He retrieves his car in an spectacular high-speed car chase that was just the opening credits of the movie but when he gets home his plans to go back to a quiet life are cut short by an italian gangster Santino D'Antonio (Ricardo Scamaro) demanding him to repay past favors.
At a recent press conference, stuntman turned director Chad Stahelski, along with writer Derek Kolstad, producer Basil Iwanyk, and stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Common, and Ian McShane gathered to discuss the intense and inflamed visual mayhem sequel.
Keanu and Laurence, can you talk a little about the Neo and Morpheus reunion. I'm a big fan of you guys. What was it like collaborating together again?
REEVES: Where did I see you when I saw you?
LAURENCE FISHBURNE: You came up to the house.
REEVES: I came up to the house and I said, "How did you like 'John Wick'? Did you see 'John Wick'?"
FISHBURNE: You came up to the house. You were training for this one. I said, "Dude, 'John Wick,' it was sick! It was killer! You gotta put me down!" And you were like, "Oh yeah, I'll talk to Chad and them."
REEVES: Wait, wait! It was more like, "You did?" And I was like, "Cool! Well I'll talk to Chad because I think there might be something there."
STAHELSKI: And Chad jumped on it. Chad wasted no time in getting back to Mr. Fishburne. It was an immediate response begging him, "Please!" When Derek and I first talked about this character, it was always with the great hope that [you would do it]. It was designed around you.
FISHBURNE: Oh, that's lovely.
KOLSTAD: Since Day 1.
STAHELSKI: We all talked about it. We couldn't pray to the gods enough. So, it all worked out.
Keanu, when you and Laurence are talking in the movie, it reminded me a little bit of talking about choices. Was that a nod to "The Matrix"?
REEVES: I didn't have that experience.
FISHBURNE: No. I feel like these are two completely different guys than the guys that we are in those movies. The only similarity may be that I might know something that he doesn't know when we first encounter each other.
REEVES: Well, you think that, but I actually know something.
FISHBURNE: You know something that I don't know. I just love the world of John Wick, The Continental, and all of that when I saw the film, and I thought, "Wow, I'd really like to go play with these guys." I've been a big fan of both Common and Mr. McShane for a long time and then to be playing a part that well.
IAN MCSHANE: Can you give us a scene together next time?
COMMON: Yes, please. You know we love you.
STAHELSKI: We're working on it. Notes, Derek, notes.
FISHBURNE: It's really cool to stretch out a bit more.
STAHELSKI: You've got big moments in Number 3 coming up.
Speaking of Number 3, can you give us a hint if we're going to see any more of Cassian?
COMMON: That might depend on how well I treat Chad and Basil if Cassian will be back. But honestly, it's left up to the visionaries to know if Cassian will be back. What do you say, Chad?
STAHELSKI: We like being slightly ambiguous in the world. I think that a big part of the John Wick world is to let the audience take a guess at it. We replicated that scene twice if you go back in the movie. John does the same type of move twice with two different visual characters, and there's a defining moment after what he says to Common. One character is left alive. One is not. That's pretty much all we'll say for now.
John Wick: Chapter 2 opens in theaters February 10th.