If you still haven’t seen John Wick, what the heck is wrong with you? The 2014 hitman rampage thriller was a breakout hit for stuntmen-turned-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, as it earned $86 million worldwide and received a ton of praise from critics. Most notably, my colleague Brian Grubb and I both picked it as the Best Movie of 2014, and that came with good reason: John Wick is an awesome movie. The ridiculous, over-the-top violence – inspired by Theon Greyjoy killing an adorable puppy and stealing Wick’s car – came across like a wonderfully-choreographed ballet of brain-bashing and bullets. We simply cannot love a movie more than we loved John Wick.
So when word came that Stahelski and Leitch were working on a sequel and Keanu Reeves was training hard for further bloody adventures, we were actually a little apprehensive. Why potentially spoil a good thing? But then we saw the synopsis:
Keanu Reeves returns in the sequel to the 2014 hit as legendary hitman John Wick who is forced to back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 2 arriving in theaters on Feb. 10, 2017.
We typically know better than to get excited about a February movie, but John Wick: Chapter 2 isn’t meant to be a Hollywood blockbuster. It will likely do well at the box office, and we will probably lead the charge in demanding Chapter 3, but this isn’t supposed to compete with Captain America or Iron Man. This is John Wick, dammit. This is art. The poster proves it.