The Sunday Mail
Tinashe Kusema Big&Small Screen
Keanu Reeves is wooden, we are told. He can’t bring life to a kiddies birthday party, it is claimed.
Say what you will, but Reeves is a better actor than many of the critics give him credit for. Which is why he has featured in hits as varied as “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, “The Devil’s Advocate”, “Speed” and “The Matrix”.
Now we can add “John Wick 2” to the filmography.
Written and directed by Derek Kolstad and Chad Stahelski, the neo-noir action follows the journey of John Wick, a retired but deadly assassin who in the first instalment goes on a rampage after the son of a Russian mob boss steals his car.
And kills his dog.
The second film in the trilogy picks up almost immediately after that revenge spree, with Wick going to retrieve the car stolen by Losef (Alfie Allen), son of mob boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist).
Losef had made the big mistake of killing Wick’s dog — the last gift she gave him before dying.
Well, Wick can’t bring the dog back but he sure can get his car. But it can’t just end there, can it?
This time Wick has to cash in a promise made to an old colleague, and it requires him to kill Gianna (Claudia Gerini), who heads a feared crime family.
And it can’t there either, can it? What follows is another blood fest fuelled by betrayal, hatred and the need to survive at all costs.
“John Wick 2” has done well with viewers and critics. Working on a budget of US$40 million, the film had grossed over US$166 million as of a last week following a 90 percent approval rating upon release.
Special mention should go to Reeves and Ian McShane, with both putting their best feet forward and demonstrating the type of chemistry that can save even the dullest of scripts.
Their banter is the stuff of legend.
There are a lot of questions the film leaves unanswered, which is good considering that part three is planned.
I for one cannot wait.