John Wick: Chapter 2 is a 2017 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. The second installment of the John Wick series, the plot follows hitman John Wick, who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on his head. It stars Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane, and marks the first collaboration between Reeves and Fishburne since appearing together in The Matrix trilogy.
Set 4 days after the events of the first film, John Wick tracks down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov, brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef. John dispatches Tarasov’s men in a violent fight that heavily damages his car. He then spares Tarasov under the auspices of peace and returns home. with the dog he had taken from the clinic. He returns home and feeds the dog he rescued from the clinic at the end of the film. He gets Aurelio to take his damaged car for repairs the next day and gets a visit by Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio by night. It is revealed that to complete his “impossible task”—which allowed him to retire and marry Helen—John asked D’Antonio for help. As a form of contract, D’Antonio swore John to a “Marker”, an unbreakable promise symbolized by a “blood oath” medallion.
D’Antonio presents the medallion to demand services from John, but John refuses, claiming that he is “retired”. In retaliation, D’Antonio destroys John’s house with a grenade launcher. John goes to the Continental hotel in New York City, where Winston reminds John that if he rejects the Marker, he will be violating one of the two unbreakable rules of the underworld: no killing on Continental grounds, and Markers must be honored. John reluctantly agrees to the ob for D’Antonio which is to assasinate his sister Gianna D’Antonio so he can can claim her seat on the “High Table”, a council of high-level crime lords. At a huge party in Rome John meets Gianna, who chooses to commit suicide by slitting her wrists instead of a bullet. Santino’s men then attack John to tie up loose ends but having predicted such a betrayal, John had hidden weapons all over and kills most of the men. He ends up fighting Gianna’s bodyguard Cassian but their brutal fight ends as they crash into the Continental’s windows. As the two reluctantly share a drink, Cassian vows revenge for Gianna’s death.
After John returns to New York City, Santino opens a $7 million contract for John’s murder under the guise of avenging his sister, leading numerous assassins to attack John – unsuccessfully. Cassian too confronts John in a subway train; John wins the ensuing fight, but leaves Cassian alive out of professional respect. Injured and desperate, John seeks help from the underground crime lord The Bowery King, whose subordinates treat his injuries and guide him to D’Antonio’s location. John kills D’Antonio’s bodyguards and mortally wounds Ares, but D’Antonio is able to escape to the Continental. Santino smugly says that he intends to stay in the Continental forever and despite Winston’s warnings, John shoots and kills Santino.
The next day, Winston sends for John and explains that, per the High Table, the contract on John has been doubled and offered globally. John is declared “excommunicado” from the Continental, losing all access and privileges to underworld resources. Winston delays announcing John’s excommunication and global posting of the bounty on him by one hour to give him a head start. Winston also provides him with a Marker for future use. Before leaving, John says to Winston: “Tell them, tell them all, whoever comes, whoever it is, I’ll kill them, l’ll kill them all…” Suspicious of everyone as hitmen all across New York set their eyes on him, John then flees on foot with his faithful dog alongside him.
Brutal and bloody (but not gory) the fighting and shooting again is well choreographed. There is some awesome cinematography too, with the Rome scenes looking mind blowing. I find this closely guarded and secret underworld filled with assassins fascinating and the very thought that anyone could be after you to kill you and get your contract money is scary and thrilling. Although I liked the first movie better, I give this one an 8 outta 10 as well!