Tag Archives: John Wick Chapter 2

My Thoughts on: John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019)

*warning: I don’t think I let any spoilers slip but it’s possible I did without realizing it

Two years.

We’ve been waiting two years to find out how the story of John Wick continues after he was sent running for his life with a one hour head start. After two years of waiting, our patience was finally rewarded with John Wick: Chapter 3 and my god did it ever deliver.

The story picks up immediately after the ending of John Wick: Chapter 2 and follows John Wick fighting to stay alive with every assassin in New York City and the world after the bounty on his head. The fight sequences are deliciously brutal, and the tension rarely lets up once the story gets going. It might be my imagination, but it feels like the fights are getting more brutal with every installment. Also, that scene with the horse is absolutely perfect.

Halle Berry as Sofia is a great addition to the John Wick universe, my only gripe is that I wanted more of her in the story. She’s clearly a complex character with a complex past (much like Wick) and I would love to learn more about her in future installments. Also, her dogs are just as awesome as you think they are.

Halle-Berry-in-John-Wick-3.jpg

One of the things I like best about John Wick: Chapter 3 is that we learn more about the complex structure of rules that governs this group of assassins that Wick belongs to. More of the hierarchy is revealed, and it turns out that some characters that appeared to be all powerful also answer to a higher authority (which in itself was a bit of a shock for me). I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a prequel that explains how this group was established in the first place. There must be a story behind how an organization was formed with this much power all over the world and I would love to see it.

Keanu Reeves is on point once again as John Wick. You wouldn’t think there’d been two years since the second film and five years since the original film, just by watching him. There’s a great range of emotion in his performance, especially towards the end of the film. And speaking of the end…I honestly did not see that ending coming. It took everything I thought I knew about the situation and turned it upside down. That being said, I loved the ending because it practically confirms that John Wick: Chapter 4 will be happening. With all of the hype surrounding this film, it makes perfect sense that they would want the story to continue.

I really enjoyed John Wick: Chapter 3, and I’m excited for the fourth installment that is bound to follow, but I do hope the next installment ends it. I only say that because, while the story was good, some of the fight scenes felt a little long, and I’d rather not see the story become ruined with too many sequels. But for now, I’ll revel in the perfection that is John Wick: Chapter 3. Definitely check it out when you get the chance.

What did you think of John Wick: Chapter 3? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Soundtrack Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019)

Thoughts on: John Wick Chapter 2 (2017)

Thoughts on: John Wick (2014)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Advertisements

Thoughts on: John Wick Chapter 2 (2017)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

John-Wick-Chapter-Two-2017-movie-poster

Unless we’re talking about Star Wars, it is very rare for a sequel to surpass the original, but I think John Wick Chapter 2 qualifies. Picking up four days after the conclusion of the first movie, Chapter 2 takes us through the continuing trials of would-like-to-remain-retired hitman John Wick. His vengeance completed, John is perfectly content to return to retired life with his new dog. However…fate seems to be out to get him as he is dropped in on by Santino D’Antonio, an Italian gangster to whom John owes a huge favor. See, it so happens that Santino provided some invaluable services John in the past. And as a result, John gave Santino what is known as a “marker.”

2017_JohnWick21_Press_150217

Basically, if you grant someone a marker, you’re saying that at some time in the future you are binding yourself to do whatever task that person asks of you, no exceptions. And no getting out of it either: even though John begs Santino to not call the marker in, the Italian persists. This is the other inviolable rule of the underworld: all markers MUST be honored. If you refuse, you die. If you attempt to run, you die and if you kill the person holding the marker, you most definitely die.

So what does Santino want done so badly? Oh nothing much, he just wants his sister murdered so he can take her place at “The High Table” (the gathering of all the criminal heads of the underworld). I really loved this entire sequence set in Rome. The whole set up of John checking into the city’s Continental hotel and then acquiring everything he needs for the hit and talking about it in the most civilized terms.

img07

For example, John asks the hotel clerk if he can see the sommelier (which ordinarily refers to a wine specialist). But in the Continental, the “sommelier” is an expert on all kinds of weapons. So, John and the sommelier discuss what guns (and other weapons) he will need in the exact same terms one talks about fine wines (appetizer, main course, dessert, etc.). He also visits a tailor (for a bulletproof suit that would be the envy of James Bond) and other establishments, always paying in those same gold coins from the previous film. It’s a fascinating sequence because it reveals this whole world that’s hiding in plain sight (and as I said before, I love those kinds of stories).

Once John escapes the hit squad sent after him, Santino has a hit put out on John, a $7 million hit to be precise. And here is the most fascinating sequence of all: we get to see HOW this is accomplished. If someone wants a hit put out, they call “Accounts Receivable” where all these ladies are working old-fashioned switchboards and typewriters and there are files on everyone in the underworld. So once they give a code to verify who they are, they name the target, how much the hit is worth, is it international, open or closed and when does it take effect. And once all of this is filled out, there’s a sequence where we see a computer auto-dialing all of these numbers with the relevant information.

JW2_D33_9548.cr2

And what’s even more mind-blowing? The revelation that there are assassins EVERYWHERE, in all kinds of professions. Since very few people could resist a $7 million bounty (and the chance to take out John Wick), the hit man has a big problem on his hands as just about everyone he encounters is out to get him. This leads to another montage of John fighting assassin after assassin. Thoroughly frustrated, John makes his way to the “Bowery King”, another underworld figure with a huge organization. John convinces the Bowery King to help him get to Santino when he reminds him that if Santino comes to power he intends to take over New York City completely, there won’t be any room for the Bowery King or anyone else.

The last part of the film is where things get a little crazy: after pursuing Santino through an art exhibit, he corners the gangster in the Continental where, it turns out, Santino is planning to live permanently. Winston attempts to talk him down from doing anything stupid but at this point, John doesn’t care about the consequences, so before anyone can stop him….BANG! Santino is dead. Inside the Continental. John has broken the number one rule of the underworld: you NEVER conduct business inside the Continental.

By rights John should be executed (and I think he knows it) but Winston can’t quite bring himself to give the order. So, he has John meet him in a park and lets him know the following:

  1. The bounty on his head will be doubled (that’s $14 million)
  2. It is now an international hit (anyone in the world can come after him)
  3. He is excommunicado meaning he has lost all rights and privileges to all services in the Underworld. No more Continental, secret shops, NOTHING.

However, to give John a fighting chance, Winston also adds that the new hit won’t go active for an hour. And then comes a scene that chilled me to the bone: when John asks Winston why he isn’t already dead, Winston signals to one of his guards who says “Now” into a phone. At that moment, everyone around the fountain in the park stops and looks at John, revealing (I think) that he’s been surrounded by assassins this entire time. As the hour starts, John walks away with his dog while we hear Winston placing the order with Accounts Receivable. As John continues to move through the park, phones begin to ring around him. But as we don’t see the messages being received, there’s no way for us (the audience) to know if these are assassins receiving the information or simply regular people going about their lives. John doesn’t know either, and in his paranoia, he takes off running. And that’s where the story ends!!

Of course, since a third film has already been announced, it’s obvious that John will get away in the short term (not to mention he’s promised to kill anyone who comes after him), but so many questions remain. For one, where will all of this end? Part of me suspects that this is going to end with John dead and therefore finally reuniting with his wife. But there’s something else in play: Winston gave John a marker in the park. Does this mean Winston owes John a favor now? There are so many questions, but we won’t get any answers until 2019.

And there’s my thoughts on John Wick: Chapter 2. It’s such a great film, I really wish I’d gone to see it in theaters (I definitely won’t miss the third installment).

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Thoughts on: John Wick (2014)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂