John Wick: Chapter 2

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John Wick: Chapter 2
John Wick Chapter Two.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chad Stahelski
Produced by
  • Basil Iwanyk
  • Erica Lee
Written by Derek Kolstad
Based on Characters
by Derek Kolstad
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Dan Laustsen
Edited by Evan Schiff
Production
company
Distributed by Summit Entertainment
Release date
  • January 30, 2017 (2017-01-30) (Arclight Hollywood)
  • February 10, 2017 (2017-02-10) (United States)
Running time
122 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[2]
Box office $171.5 million[3]

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a 2017 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. The second installment in the John Wick film series, the plot follows hitman John Wick, who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on his head. It stars Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane, and marks the first collaboration between Reeves and Fishburne since appearing together in The Matrix trilogy.

Principal photography began on October 26, 2015, in New York City. The film premiered in Los Angeles on January 30, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on February 10, 2017. It received positive reviews from critics and grossed $171.5 million worldwide, over four times its $40 million budget and nearly twice the $88 million gross of the original film.[3][4] A sequel, titled John Wick: Chapter 3, is set to be released on May 17, 2019.

Plot[edit]

Four days after the events of the first film,[5] former assassin John Wick tracks down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov, brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef. John dispatches Tarasov's men in a violent fight that heavily damages the Mustang. He then spares Tarasov under the auspices of peace and returns home.

After Aurelio takes John's Mustang for repairs, John is visited by Italian crime lord Santino D'Antonio. It is revealed that to complete his "impossible task"—which allowed him to retire and marry Helen—John asked Santino for help. As a form of contract, Santino swore John to a "Marker," an unbreakable promise symbolized by a "blood oath" medallion.[6] Santino presents the medallion to demand services from John, but John refuses, claiming that he is retired. In retaliation, Santino destroys John's house with a grenade launcher.

Winston, the owner of the Continental hotel in New York City, reminds John that if he rejects the Marker, he will be violating one of the two unbreakable rules of the underworld: no killing on Continental grounds, and Markers must be honored. John accepts his commitment and meets with Santino, who tasks him with assassinating his sister Gianna so he can claim her seat on the "High Table," a council of high-level crime lords. Santino sends Ares (Ruby Rose), his mute personal bodyguard, to surveil John.

In Rome, John infiltrates Gianna's coronation party and confronts her. Faced with certain death, Gianna commits suicide by slashing her wrists. After she dies, John shoots her to make sure she's dead, fulfilling his commitment to Santino. While retreating, John is ambushed by Santino's men, who intend to "tie up loose ends" by killing him. After killing most of them, John is pursued by Gianna's bodyguard Cassian. Their brutal fight is halted when they crash into the reception area of the Rome Continental, which—like the New York Continental—prohibits any "business" on its grounds. As the two share a tense drink, Cassian vows revenge for Gianna's death.

After John returns to New York City, Santino opens a $7 million contract for John's death under the guise of avenging his sister, leading numerous assassins to attack John. Cassian confronts John once again in the subway. John wins the ensuing fight, but leaves Cassian alive out of professional respect. Injured and desperate, John seeks help from the underground crime lord The Bowery King, whose subordinates treat his injuries and guide him to Santino's location. John kills Santino's bodyguards and mortally wounds Ares in a knife fight, but Santino is able to escape to the Continental. Santino smugly makes it clear that he intends to remain in its sanctuary indefinitely. Despite Winston's warnings, John shoots and kills Santino in the Continental lounge.

The next day, Winston sends for John and explains that, per the High Table, the contract on John has been doubled and offered globally. Winston declares John "excommunicado" from the Continental, losing all access and privileges to underworld resources. However, Winston delays announcing John's excommunication and global bounty by one hour to give him a head start, and provides him with a Marker for future use. Before leaving, John says to Winston: "Tell them... tell them all... whoever comes, whoever it is, I'll kill them. I'll kill them all." Suspecting hitmen all around him, John flees with his dog.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In February 2015, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch stated that a John Wick sequel had begun development.[16][17] The same month Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate, stated during a conference call that "We see John Wick as a multiple-title action franchise". Additionally, it was reported that Kolstad would return to write the screenplay.[18] In May 2015, it was confirmed that a sequel was greenlit, and Lionsgate would be selling the film at the Cannes Film Festival. Reeves and Stahelski appeared in a 30-minute Aol.build interview in early February 2017 to discuss the development and casting of the film.[19]

Casting[edit]

It was announced that Keanu Reeves, Leitch, and Stahelski would return, with filming set to begin in late 2015.[20][21][22][23] In October 2015, Common joined the film to play the head of security for a female crime lord,[9] and Ian McShane was confirmed to return as Winston, the owner of the Continental Hotel.[11] In November 2015, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Thomas Sadoski, and Lance Reddick were confirmed to return, while Ruby Rose, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Peter Stormare were added to the cast.[8] In December 2015, it was announced that Laurence Fishburne would appear in a supporting role.[24]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began on October 26, 2015, in New York City.[25] At the end of first week, filming had taken place in Manhattan.[26] Filming moved to Rome, Italy next,[11] and later resumed in Montreal, Canada on October 28, 2015.

Music[edit]

In 2016, it was announced that Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard would return to write and compose the film's soundtrack.

Along with the return of Ciscandra Nostalghia, the soundtrack has also featured Alice In Chains guitarist and co-vocalist Jerry Cantrell in the song "A Job To Do".

Release[edit]

John Wick: Chapter 2 premiered at Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles on January 30, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on February 10, 2017, by Summit Entertainment.[27]

In the United Kingdom, the film was granted a 15 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification, after 23 seconds of a bloody injury within a suicide scene were removed to avoid an 18 rating.[1] The film opened in UK cinemas on February 17, 2017, and was distributed by Warner Bros., with co-production from Lionsgate studio Summit Entertainment.

Australia was one of the last major countries to receive the film, with a release on May 18.[28]

Box office[edit]

John Wick: Chapter 2 grossed $92 million in the United States and Canada and $79.5 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $171.5 million.[3] The film grossed $90.5 million worldwide in its first nine days of release, surpassing the entire theatrical gross of the first film ($88.8 million).[29]

In the United States and Canada, the film opened alongside two other sequels, The Lego Batman Movie and Fifty Shades Darker, and was projected to gross around $20 million in its opening weekend.[30][31] It earned $2.2 million from Thursday night previews at 2,400 theaters, an improvement over the $870,000 made by its predecessor. It made $11 million on its first day, nearly totaling the $14.4 million the first film made in its entire opening weekend. It went on to open to $30.4 million, more than double the opening weekend of the original film and finishing third at the box office behind The Lego Batman Movie ($53 million) and Fifty Shades Darker ($46.6 million).[2] In its second weekend the film grossed $16.2 million (a drop of 46.7%), finishing 4th at the box office and making more in its second weekend than the original film made in its first.[29]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 89% based on 212 reviews, and an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "John Wick: Chapter 2 does what a sequel should—which in this case means doubling down on the non-stop, thrillingly choreographed action that made its predecessor so much fun."[32] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[33] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[34]

Scott Tobias of Uproxx said the film improved upon the original, writing: "For better or worse—though mostly for better—it’s a full-scale assault on the senses, constantly pushing itself to greater feats of excess. At this rate, a third John Wick might trigger the apocalypse."[35] Mike Rougeau of IGN gave the film an 8.5/10, stating that it "takes joy in expanding on the original’s lore", and praised the film as a vast improvement of its predecessor, in terms of action set pieces, fight choreography, cinematography, and writing.[36] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it "the real deal" and "pure cinema".[37]

Writing for Time magazine in February Stephanie Zacharek stated: "The pleasures of John Wick: Chapter 2 may be even greater than those of its predecessor—itself a symphonic achievement in scrappy, balls-out, action filmmaking—because in this one, there’s no puppy murder to endure...it’s lovers of humankind who are put to the test. John Wick: Chapter 2 asks the classic pulp question—Are human beings worth saving?—and delivers, with the right proportions of joy and sorrow, the classic pulp answer: Sometimes, no."[38]

Both Richard Brody writing for The New Yorker and Stephen M. Colbert writing for screenrant.com saw secret societies as a significant motif in the film. In his article "The World of John Wick Explained", Colbert stated: "John Wick introduced audiences to a dark, polished, and sharply dressed, underground criminal society full of assassins who (mostly) abide by an unspoken code of conduct and two explicit rules. While the first movie told a more intimate story that only hinted at the larger world of this secret society, John Wick: Chapter Two takes the titular character through several of the corners of this complex underworld, revealing even more about the world of John Wick. While very few of these customs are explicitly explained, there are still enough hints about the inner functionings of the various entities presented, giving us enough puzzle pieces to put together a loose sketch of this mysterious world of assassins."[39]

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club complained that it "lacks the first film’s domino-effect momentum", though overall he reacted positively. In part, he praised the action scenes as "entertainingly surreal".[40]

Home release[edit]

The movie was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on June 13, 2017, from Summit Inc/Lionsgate.[41][42][43]

Sequel[edit]

In October 2016, Stahelski stated that a third film is in the works,[44] and in June 2017 it was reported that Kolstad will return to write the screenplay.[45] In September 2017, Lionsgate set the sequel's release date for May 17, 2019.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John Wick: Chapter 2". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "'Lego Batman' Hooks $54M+, 'Fifty Shades' Rachets Up $48M+, 'John Wick 2' Targets $29M+ – Saturday Update". Deadline.com. 
  3. ^ a b c "John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  4. ^ "John Wick (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 7, 2017. 
  5. ^ Alexander, Julia. "John Wick: Chapter 2 Takes Place Four Days After First Film, Features.." Polygon. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Colbert, Stephen M. "John Wick's Blood Oath Explained". SCREENRANT. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  7. ^ THR Staff (September 29, 2016). "Hollywood Salaries 2016: Who Got Raises (and Who Didn't), From Movie Stars to Showrunners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Jaafar, Ali (November 9, 2015). "'John Wick 2' Fills Out Cast, Old Favorites Return". Deadline. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Kit, Borys (October 26, 2015). "Common to Play Villain in Keanu Reeves' 'John Wick 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  10. ^ "'John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Update: Keanu Reeves Talks About Laurence Fishburne's Role". 2017-01-08. Retrieved 2017-01-14. 
  11. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (October 26, 2015). "Ian McShane Returns for Keanu Reeves' 'John Wick 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Keanu Reeves talks John Wicks 2". cosmicbooknews. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  13. ^ Han, Angie (October 8, 2016). "'John Wick: Chapter 2' Trailer: Keanu Reeves Is Back in Action". /Film. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  14. ^ Anderton, Ethan (October 5, 2016). "'John Wick: Chapter 2' Teaser Arrives Before The Full Trailer Debuts At NYCC". /Film. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Watch John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)". Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  16. ^ Guerrasio, Jason (February 4, 2015). "'John Wick' Directors Are Already Working on a Sequel (Exclusive)". Movies.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  17. ^ "John Wick Sequel Already In The Works". Final Reel. February 5, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Lionsgate Planning 'John Wick' Sequel". Variety. February 6, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  19. ^ Interview with Aol.build for John Wick 2. [1].
  20. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (May 4, 2015). "Lionsgate Selling 'John Wick' Sequel At Cannes". Deadline. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  21. ^ Lesnick, Silas (September 22, 2015). "John Wick 2 Filming Begins This Fall!". Coming Soon. 
  22. ^ Weintraub, Steven (September 24, 2015). "Exclusive: Chad Stahelski To Direct 'John Wick 2' Solo". Collider. 
  23. ^ Foutch, Haleigh (October 5, 2015). "Exclusive: 'John Wick 2′ Story Details Revealed". Collider. 
  24. ^ McNary, Dave (2015-12-18). "Laurence Fishburne Reunites With Keanu Reeves for 'John Wick 2' Cameo". Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  25. ^ "On the Set for 10/30/15: Keanu Reeves Starts on John Wick Sequel, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron Wrap Up Neighbors 2". SSN Insider. October 30, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Keanu Reeves has bloody cuts on face as he takes on foes in dramatic scenes while filming John Wick 2". The Daily Mail. October 31, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  27. ^ Evry, Max (February 18, 2016). "John Wick: Chapter Two Gets a Release Date". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  28. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) - Release Info". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  29. ^ a b "Another Holiday Weekend Where Holdovers Reign & New Studio Releases Tank: Presidents' Day B.O". Deadline.com. 
  30. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 26, 2017). "'Fifty Shades Darker' Poised To Submit To 'Lego Batman': Pre-Valentine's Day Weekend B.O. Forecast". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Box Office: Can 'Lego Batman,' 'Fifty Shades Darker' And 'John Wick 2' Outperform Their Tracking?". Forbes. 
  32. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  33. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  34. ^ CinemaScore on Twitter (February 11, 2017). "John Wick: Chapter 2". Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  35. ^ Tobias, Scott (February 8, 2017). "'John Wick: Chapter Two' Is A Skull-Shattering Sequel Determined To Outdo The Original". Uproxx. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  36. ^ Rougeau, Mike (8 February 2017). "John Wick: Chapter 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  37. ^ Travers, Peter (February 7, 2017). "'John Wick: Chapter 2' Review: Keanu Reeves Is Back in Delirious, Mayhem-Filled Sequel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  38. ^ "The guns of John Wick 2", By David Maccar, February 10, 2017.[2].
  39. ^ Stephen M. Colbert, The World of John Wick Explained 02.13.2017.
  40. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (February 8, 2017). "John Wick: Chapter 2". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  41. ^ Amazon.com: John Wick: Chapter 2 (DVD). Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  42. ^ Amazon.com: John Wick: Chapter 2 (Blu-ray) . Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  43. ^ Amazon.com: John Wick: Chapter 2 - 4K Ultra HD (Blu-ray + Digital HD). Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  44. ^ Page, Aubrey (October 10, 2016). "'John Wick 3' Already in the Works, Reveals Director Chad Stahelski; 'Chapter 2' Details Teased". Collider.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  45. ^ Kit, Borys (June 1, 2017). "'John Wick 3' Brings Back Writer Derek Kolstad (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  46. ^ "'John Wick: Chapter Three' Targets Early Summer 2019 Date". Deadline.com. September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]