John Wick was a surprise hit for Keanu Reeves when it dropped out of nowhere in 2014. The ultra-violent tale of a hitman coming out of retirement to get revenge on the bad guys who ruined his life, even killing his dog, took in $86 million domestically on a reported budget of $20 million. It also re-established Reeves as an action star to be reckoned with years after he created the character of Neo in The Matrix.
With John Wick not only making a surprising amount of dough but also introducing a notable new pop culture anti-hero, a sequel was inevitable. On February 10, 2017 John Wick returns in John Wick: Chapter 2 and we have another taste of the action that will be unleashed when Wick once again goes up against an array of heavily armed enemies (hopefully this time no dogs will have to die in order to provide character motivation).
We Got This Covered passes along a pair of quick and action-packed John Wick: Chapter 2 TV spots (via CBM). In clip one, Wick amusingly orders weapons at a bar as if he's ordering wine. In clip two, Wick menacingly growls "You wanted me back," to which the audience might reply "Yes we did!" Reeves' old Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne drops in for an appearance in spot no. 2 as well.
These TV spots and other promotional material from John Wick: Chapter 2 promise exactly what fans might have expected: a movie that delivers the same over-the-top violence as its predecessor, but in even greater and more sensational helpings. At the center of it all is Reeves' inscrutable presence, blasting his way through bad guys like there's no tomorrow.
The plot synopsis for Chapter Two is appropriately succinct:
Legendary hit man John Wick comes out of retirement when a former associate plots to seize control of an international assassins' guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, Wick travels to Rome to square off against the world's deadliest killers.
The synopsis might as well be: "John Wick kills a bunch of people in a crazily violent comic book world and who cares why?"
Ultimately, this new film demonstrates that Reeves makes an effective comic book anti-hero, capable of cold-bloodedly and efficiently dispatching every bad guy who gets in his way. In his own way, the actor has also become an off-kilter version of Clint Eastwood. Maybe someone out there predicted the rise of Reeves, unstoppable killing machine, and if they did then kudos to them.
- John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) release date: Feb 10, 2017