In 2014, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch reinvigorated the action-adventure genre with their 1990s style throwback film that channeled one-man army movies of yesteryear. Keanu Reeves shined as the titular John Wick, a former assassin who is forced back into his former lifestyle when tragedy strikes. The movie created its own fascinating world that felt like it extended well beyond the camera's frame, complete with its own legends, physics, and, most intriguing of all, seeming complex and well-constructed mythology.
One of the movie's biggest additions to the action-adventure lexicon was the Continental Hotel. The hotel is a safe haven for the secret society of mercenaries that populate the John Wick universe, where they go to heal, get upgrades, and are (supposedly) safe from assassination threats. In the new clip from the upcoming sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, we see Wick return to the Continental. He has a brief exchange with Charon, played again by The Wire's Lance Reddick, while accompanied by his new sidekick.
John Wick is equal parts Rambo, Bruce Lee, and Call of Duty cheat code, who trailblazed a new form of fight choreography known as gun-fu. In the first movie, the action was staged like a fist fight with handguns and Wick always made a point to double-tap and aim for the head.
The amazing action sequences were only part of the appeal, though. Not only can we expect a return of John Wick's bombastic style, but the sequel also has an impressive supporting cast. Along with the aforementioned Reeves and Reddick, John Leguizamo (Ice Age: Collision Course), Ian McShane (American Gods), and Bridget Moynahan (Blue Bloods), will also be returning for another round, as well as new recruits Common (Suicide Squad) and Ruby Rose (xXx: Return of Xander Cage). However, the most interesting addition has to be Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish) as The Bowery King, which will serve as the first on-screen reunion for him and Reeves since they changed the face of action movies with The Matrix trilogy.
It's worth noting that Wick's canine companion is a full-grown dog, capable of holding his own, unlike the lovably vulnerable puppy in the first movie. Hopefully the dog is a visual representation of an even more meaty, hungry, and more mature chapter in the action franchise. While John Wick will live forever as a cult classic, there is always room to take things to the next level. We will all find out next month.
- John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) release date: Feb 10, 2017