In this film, Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the legendary, and invincible hitman. I remember watching the original John Wick film and enjoying it for what it was: an essentially plotless, violent romp with limited dialogue. I don't recall thinking it was ridiculous, unlike the sequel which, if not for the very slick fight choreography, was barely worth the effort of watching.
John Wick: Chapter 2 has no plot, no memorable lines, no emotional connection, and zero believability. I'm pretty sure I've never seen one man kill so many others in a film. I'm pretty sure I've never seen such a collection of hired guns who can't shoot straight or fight. I'm pretty sure I've never seen someone get shot, stabbed and tossed around so much, yet still retain the strength, speed and flexibility of John Wick. And when a worldwide bounty is placed on his head, I'm pretty sure I've never seen so many professional killers in one square metre of a city, let alone one subway station.
I'll conclude my bagging of this film by saying I watched it in two parts, because I knew that Wick would spend the second half of the film doing exactly what he did in the first half of the film, and despite suffering enough injuries to stop an army, walk away and live to fight another day.
You may be wondering what I could possibly have taken away from this disappointing and ridiculous action movie. Revenge. That is the dominant theme of John Wick 2, perhaps the only theme. All Wick does is slay people as he attempts to kill the person for whom they work, in order to take his revenge. Revenge is all he has...apart from a placid dog which occupies some scenes.
Revenge is, of course, a very popular theme of film, television shows and novels. Revenge has motivated many a character throughout the years, enabling him or her to perform literally superhuman feats on their way to executing their own justice. Watching our heroes take revenge apparently satisfies our own sense of justice.
I guess that's one way to live your life: angry and obsessed with retribution. Real life examples may be less extreme, but bitterness and unforgiveness reign in the hearts and minds of those who refuse to let go. This is a self imposed prison sentence.
Of much greater value, and with no violent deaths required, is the alternative path of forgiveness. The only way to be free is to let go. John Wick found, as a result of his murderous spree and his successful killing of his enemy, that he had made even more enemies. He had even made enemies of his friends. And he is seen as a hero? Fool might be a better word.
I look forward to John Wick 3 which will...actually, on second thoughts, I think I'll give it a miss.