The Breakdown: A Deep Look At The ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Trailer

The first full-length trailer for John Wick: Chapter 2 dropped this weekend, which is excellent news because it means this is all really, really happening. Not that we had any reason to doubt its existence before this. We’ve seen various teasers and announcements, and they just released a poster with John Wick and his new dog, and I just can’t believe that Keanu Reeves would lie to us about it all. (If we can’t trust Keanu, why even go on?) But still, a trailer provides hard evidence — actual footage — that proves this a real thing and not something we’ve all been collectively hallucinating all year as part of an internal self-defense mechanism to help us avoid the depressing stream of real world events. So that’s good.

The trailer is posted above. I recommend watching it eight to 10 times. Minimum. Really get the feel for it all. And then, once you’ve done that, join me below. I have, it turns out, a lot of things to say about this trailer.

We open in Rome, with a series of shots of famous Roman architecture and of John Wick looking at famous Roman architecture. Why is he in Rome? Glad you asked. Allow me to direct you to the official summary of the film.

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.

This is, probably, the best film summary I’ve ever read. I mean, it contains the phrases “shadowy international assassins’ guild” and “bound by a blood oath.” And he’s being pulled out of retirement again. I hope they make 10 John Wick movies — like it becomes the new Fast & Furious and travels to a new scenic location for each film and starts adding action figures left and right until Jason Statham ends up co-starring in one and no one is exactly sure how it happened — and every one starts with him being forced to un-retire. I would like that.

Upon deciding to return for blood-oath-related reasons, John goes to get fitted for a new “tactical” suit and then acquires a number of guns from a well-dressed man who says “Do enjoy your party” while standing in front of a neon-backlit display case filled with automatic weapons. This sentence brings up an important point: Being a millionaire retired assassin seems great. The only problem is that to become one you have to actually earn millions of dollars by murdering people. That seems… less great. There has to be a better way.

The sequel reportedly takes place just one week after the first, which means it’s pretty safe to assume that this is the dog he took from the animal hospital at the end of the first movie. It looks like a very good dog. I hope he takes the dog to Rome with him and the dog sits next to him on the plane, preferably with sunglasses on. Maybe the dog can talk. I’m just spitballing here.


Oh no…

Please do not kill the dog again. Please. Kill all the shadowy assassins you want, but for the love of God, leave the dog alone this time. I’m begging you.

Cool hotel for assassins: Back

Concierge/manager played by Lt. Daniels from The Wire: Back

Cool assassin hotel owner played by Al Swearengen from Deadwood: Back, and telling someone that they “have no idea what’s coming.”

Yes yes yes. Also, do you think the assassin hotel, The Continental, is part of a chain of assassin hotels? Like, does he stay in one in Rome when he goes there? This is suddenly very important to me.



“Do you wanna start a war… or do you just wanna give me a gun?”

This feels like a trick question. Because I think I, if I were in this movie, would like to do neither. I would prefer to, like, go home and watch reruns of Parks & Rec while I nibble on chocolate-covered espresso beans. Is that an option? It would ruin the movie, sure. But safety first.

Anyway, if there’s one thing we learned from the first John Wick, it’s that mobsters and assassins go to very cool clubs that are either very fancy or very trendy or both, and are often lit with only red and blue lights until someone turns on the house lights because whooooops John Wick killed everyone. It appears from the series of shots leading up to this image — which shows Common and Keanu facing off before shooting at each other — that this will continue in the sequel. All is right in the world.

So, three things:

1) This GIF is an unedited four-second clip from the trailer in which two people go flying through glass during fights. It might even be the same person, in the same scene. What I’m saying is that there’s chance John Wick gets thrown through a pane of glass during a fight and then re-enters the fight by crashing through a different pane of glass. The best thing about this movie is that what I just typed is perfectly reasonable.

2) “Whoever comes, I’ll kill them all” is a great line, and it would be my favorite of the trailer if the tagline wasn’t…

3) “The only way back out… is back in.”

This trailer is my favorite movie of 2016.

I’m kind of torn here. Showing us Keanu’s Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne in the trailer takes away a little of the fun, because it could have been extra cool to see him pop up in the movie out of nowhere. Now anything resembling a surprise is gone. Which is a bummer.

On the other hand wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee hey hey look, it’s Morpheus! In the thing! With Keanu! Get it?! Because of movies!

Like I said, kind of torn.

Run this movie into my veins with an IV line.