So, just because I don't have a review for the first one up, a quick recap: Some dudes come along and give John (Keanu Reeves) a hard time, eventually breaking into his house, stealing his car and, in a hard to watch scene, kill his dog. Essentially it becomes one of the best revenge films I've ever seen and I give it a solid 5/5. It's awesome to know Keanu still has some moves, and often, better ones nowadays. It's just straight up action for the sake of action, and has the balls to make it happen. There's a fine line there, but John Wick executed things incredibly well.
Moving onto 'Chapter 2', it opens very shortly after the end of the first, where John has to tie up a loose end. After doing so, he decides to finally retire, as was his original plan. However, someone else has other plans for him.
He is soon visited by an Italian crime Lord named Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who enlists John's help. In order for him to take his high seat at the "high table" (a group of high-level crime lords), he wants to hire John to kill his sister, who currently has the seat. John is further reminded that he took a blood oath which bonds him to doing a favor after being allowed to leave crime and marry his wife, which we see from the beginning of the first film doesn't quite work out.
If I say too much more, I feel like I'll be giving too much away, but to make a long story short, eventually, everyone is offered an incredible bounty for the death of John Wick. The film cleverly becomes a survival film in comparison to the first revenge film, and they're both some of the greatest action you'll see from the last 10 years or so.
The wonderful thing about these movies is, basically, the resurrection of Keanu Reeves. He hit it big back when he was The One in the 'Matrix' series, but one has to admit, he kinda fell away after that for a while. But, in order to play the role of John Wick, what many may not realize, is that he studied pretty heavily in martial arts. He learned Jujitsu as well as Judo in order to be a better martial artist. Evidently, it paid off.
I don't really mind saying it, but I think John Wick might be the best action movie hero of recent times. You could argue that very easily with just about anything The Rock or Vin Diesel have done, but at least John Wick can run out of and actually get hit by bullets. It's still pretty over the top at times, but I think they've found a really good balance here.
The whole thing leaves me with one simple question though. After watching these movies back to back in all their glory, why is it that they STILL can't make a really good video game movie? 'Cause 'John Wick' would make for a pretty badass video game, if you ask me.
Anyway, I digress. If you're a fan of action movies, then I highly recommend watching these two back to back. For me, this kind of thing tops any 'Fast & Furious' movie (and I like those, too), but I guess it's all a matter of taste in the end, right?