Following the surprise success of 2014’s John Wick - the high-octane, Keanu Reeves fueled shoot em up that wowed critics and audiences across the globe - a sequel was all but assured. John Wick introduced a richly imagined world that served as a sort of absurd mirror of our own; where criminals exist in a highly codified, rigid structure that we like to imagine might be an actuality (as opposed to the boring, almost mundane, reality of real life criminal enterprise). The film’s simple, “you killed me dog,” revenge plotline opened the doors to the truly fantastic as it ascended to heights of bloody violence that became almost ballet.
It was a world, frankly, that screamed for mining. As far as cinematic world building is concerned, you don’t get much more interesting than The Continental Hotel, the bizarre safe haven (except when it’s not) of hitmen, henchmen, and Mafioso that tied this absurd reality together. It was no surprise, then, when a sequel was announced just months after John Wick was unleashed onto the world. For months now, we’ve been teased by casting announcements - including the reunion of Reeves and his The Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Common, and Peter Stormare - and set pictures, but the overall plot of the film had been mostly keep under wraps... until now.
As reported by Collider, New Line has released an official plot synopsis for John Wick: Chapter 2. The film, written by Derek Kolstad and directed by Chad Stahelski (who wrote and directed the original), finds John Wick unable to enjoy a quiet life of retirement, as he’s again drawn back into the hyperviolent world of crime and murder where first he made his name.
Here is the synopsis for John Wick: Chapter 2 in full:
Keanu Reeves returns in the sequel to the 2014 hit as legendary hitman John Wick who is forced to back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.
From the sound of things, John Wick: Chapter 2 is following the age old mantra of sequels: bigger is better. It’s hard to imagine a situation that towers over our first outing into the John Wick world, but clearly the sequel aims to deliver just that. Steeped, as it is, in imagery and myth, Rome feels like the perfect place for an assassin of John Wick’s caliber to do some real damage.
While specific plot details for the second John Wick movie remain in a tightly locked barrel - we don’t, for instance, know who’s playing the mysterious villain who draws John back into the fray - the synopsis suggests that Chapter 2 will present a deeper exploration of the world presented by John Wick, adding new dimensions to the already fantastic universe of its predecessor.
Fishburne has suggested that John Wick: Chapter 2 will be opening up an entire new world beyond the walls of the Continental - and given the film’s Rome locale, that certainly seems likely. It’s difficult to imagine what the larger world of John Wick might look like, but with the creative team of Kolstad and Stahelski still at the helm, audiences appear to be in capable hands right now.
John Wick: Chapter 2 opens in U.S. theaters on February 10th, 2017.