Sequel thrills with ‘exciting gunplay’

By Reggie Santini, Spotlight editor

The return of John Wick brings more fantastic gunplay and expands on the first movie’s mysterious criminal underworld.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is a fantastic sequel to a franchise already so beloved.

Not only does it live up to the original film’s spectacular standards, but it surpasses and outshines the first.

“Chapter 2” expands and builds on the fantastic world created in the first film, picking up a few months after the events of the original movie. Wick is still dealing with some unfinished business from the first movie, as he tries to mop up the mess and place his past behind him when an old friend comes to collect a debt.

To fulfill this debt Wick is dragged out of retirement and back into the underworld where he will face off against a whole new host of friends, villains and ex-colleagues.

Typical action movies can often feel disconnected as nothing seems to matter or carry over from the original film to its sequel.

Think about the original “James Bond” series. Events never carried over and a film’s plot only affects that single movie’s world.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” feels more like one is flipping the page into a new chapter of a book than jumping straight into the book’s sequel.

Returning director Chad Stahelski connects both movies in simple, yet amusing, ways.

One of the ways he does this is by having Wick go after his prized Mustang that was stolen in the first film.

By using this and other simple plot mechanics, the title “Chapter 2” feels more significant than simply adding a “2” at the end of the movie’s title.

Keanu Reeves reprises his role as John Wick and, much like the first movie, Wick is a man of few words.

Reeves does an excellent job with the portrayal of his character by speaking many different languages and pulling off the different accents well.

Reeves really shows off his martial arts and marksman skills by doing all of his own stunts. Reeves’ skills are immensely entertaining to watch.

Wick is usually outnumbered and is therefore forced to rely on his ability to turn anything into a weapon.

As the tremendous body count rises, so do the thrills.

Despite having heard many of Wick’s nicknames in the first movie (The Boogeyman, The Ghost) it is fantastic to see him turn back into the man who earned those names.

The film’s main villain, played by Riccardo Scamarcio, is simply brilliant.

Scamarcio plays an Italian crime lord who is so evil that he would kill his own family members if they stood in the way of his plans.

The film also stars Common and Ruby Rose, and also sees the return of fan favorites from the first movie — Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynihan, and Lance Reddick.

“The Matrix” fans will rejoice as they get to see the reunion of Laurence Fishburne and Reeves on the same screen at the same time again.

Tyler L. Bates composes the film’s score.

Bates is known for his work in various movies and video games.

He has worked on “300,” “Watchmen” and, most recently alongside James Gunn on, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

It is a treat to watch the high-octane action play out on the big screen.

Do not miss this chance to watch this fantastic film in theaters.