Breaking Down ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

When John Wick hit the scene in 2014 and reintroduced Keanu Reeves as one of the most bad ass action stars our there, nobody saw it coming. With a modest budget of $20 million and a first time director in former stunt man Chad Stahelski, John Wick rose above expectations and became a cult classic. But what is it that made this the little action movie that could? Was it the rich and mysterious underworld? Maybe it was the revenge-tinged premise and the pull of seeing a legendary hitman lash out after losing everything.

They say you should especially fear the wrath of a gentle man, and Wick racks up the body count to prove the adage right while avenging the murder of his beloved dog. With the combination of Brazilian jujitsu, tactical fighting, and a realistic approach to gunplay, the combat in John Wick is ferocious and unique. But while John Wick: Chapter 2 figures to bring some of those same charms and a whole new batch of characters to the table (including Reeves’ Matrix trilogy co-star Laurence Fishburne), we still don’t fully know what it is that forces Wick back out of retirement and into the game this time. And maybe that’s part of the appeal alongside the ceaseless ass-kicking and the character’s unrelenting drive.