John Wick Chapter 2 is queasily violent

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    John Wick: Chapter 2 reunites us with the world’s greatest assassin (Keanu Reeves), who doesn’t say much, but once killed three men in a bar . . . with a pencil.

    In the original 2014 film, Wick was teased out of retirement and into a bloodbath because someone murdered his dog.

    This time, it’s because someone has stolen his car. Don’t even think about stamping on his iPhone.

    John Wick: Chapter 2 reunites us with the world’s greatest assassin (Keanu Reeves), who doesn’t say much, but once killed three men in a bar . . . with a pencil

    There’s a kind of narrative involving an Italian super-criminal who forces Wick to go to Rome to repay a favour, then takes out a $7 million contract on his life, but really Chad Stahelski’s film is about the multifarious ways in which one man can kill lots and lots of others.

    As before, it’s touch and go as to whether Wick terminates more people than he has syllables of dialogue.

    Not that he gets away unscathed. He is shot, stabbed and hit by a car, each time emerging with a limp marginally more pronounced than before.

    With a decent supporting cast (Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Franco Nero), but an almost total lack of dramatic tension, the film is slickly and often spectacularly choreographed, but adds up to little more than an extremely loud and colourful glorification of violence.

     

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