As an unabashed lover of Chapter 1, I have to say that I'm a little bit befuddled by Chapter 2 - only so much as I feel myself being both amazed and yet slightly disappointed all at the same time with it.
Amazed by the achingly cool world that has now been expanded upon in the most coolest ways imaginable. The Continental and its clientele now have all other kinds of affiliated businesses that are just so wonderfully realised and seamlessly fit together to form a cohesive whole that I almost stood up and applauded the damn film. This world is so well drawn that you are easily able to forgive more of its more questionable attributes - who knew there were that many hitmen/women in Ney York huh? And as for the decidedly low-tech communications system? Cool but practical??????
And yet disappointed by maybe its whole raison d'etre - the scenes of utter carnage. Only the opening chop shop scrap and the final Lady from Shanghai inspired (a more obscure reference than the one which could act as a spoiler!) throwdown come close to the highs of the setpieces in Chapter 1. Its not that the others are bad par se, its just that they lack a certain spark - the Roman cavern sequence just felt bereft of any danger as the seemingly endless supply of goons either forgot how to pull the trigger on their weapons or were showing their stormtrooper shooting training in full effect. Its still cool to see Wick unleash his gun-fu, but these (and even the subway setpiece which tried to bring it back to something a little more close quarters) just felt like Wick was a character in a FPS shooter with the difficulty set on 'novice'.
But, for me, the world and the characters easily overcame this minor complaint. New characters were pretty cool - Ruby Rose seems to make a habit of these cameos recently but this her best yet, Common is all kinds of seething menace and rage, and the big bad is suitably slimy and oily - while all the returning ones did so with aplomb: step forward Mr's Leguizamo (for a cool cameo) and of course Lovejoy who is clearly having a total blast.
And its directed with all the flash and charisma of the first one. So whilst its not the home run the first one was, it does what a good sequel should - expand the world, whilst still giving the crowd sniffs of the first one. And as for the ending? Whilst in hindsight its obvious what had to happen, seeing it came as a shock and the way it came to its conclusion was so well handled that I am already eagerly awaiting Chapter 3.......
A flawless presentation really needs no more wordage. Other than to say the Atmos track is another humdinger, although this time shorn of such directional setpieces as the club scene from Chapter 1, its more reliant on the overall surround bubble created and its there, clear for all to hear, from minute one. Its what makes me think that investment in all those ruddy speakers was well and truly the best investment I've ever made......
Summary - more of the same, with slightly more of the curtain pulled back on the shadowy world of The Continental. This expansion offsets any slight disappointment of gun-fu fatigue, making this a cracking sequel and a stepping stone to my soon-to-be favourite trilogy closer. A flawless UHD presentation (I'm watching on a 1080p projector hence no comments on HDR/WCG) just is the cherry on the top of a very yummy cake.
John Wick: Chapter 2 User Review
Keanu just can't stop never stopping can he.........?Review of John Wick: Chapter 2 UHD Blu-ray by Coz22998, Jun 28, 2017.This item was purchased for £24.99 from HMV in 2017. The reviewer still owns this product.