John Wick: Chapter 2

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John Wick: Chapter 2
The protagonist John Wick appears disheveled holding a pistol
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChad Stahelski
Written byDerek Kolstad
Based onCharacters
by Derek Kolstad
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyDan Laustsen
Edited byEvan Schiff
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • January 30, 2017 (2017-01-30) (ArcLight Hollywood)
  • February 10, 2017 (2017-02-10) (United States)
Running time
122 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$40 million[2]
Box office$171.5 million[3]

John Wick: Chapter 2 (also known as simply John Wick 2) is a 2017 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. It is the second installment in the John Wick franchise, and the sequel to the 2014 action film John Wick. It stars Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, and Ian McShane. The plot follows hitman John Wick (Reeves), who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on him. 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 was acclaimed by critics, with praise for the action sequences, direction, editing, visual style and the performances of the cast, particularly Reeves. The film grossed $171.5 million worldwide against its $40 million budget, twice the $86 million gross of the original film.[4] A sequel, titled John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, was released on May 17, 2019.

Plot[edit]

John Wick recovers his stolen Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Abram Tarasov, brother of the late Viggo.[N 1] John dispatches Tarasov's men in a violent rampage that heavily damages the Mustang, but spares Tarasov under the promise of peace, and returns home. John is visited by the Camorra crime boss Santino D'Antonio, who reminds him that he was the one who helped John complete his "impossible task", which allowed John to retire and marry Helen. In return, John swore to a "marker", an unbreakable vow symbolized by a "blood oath" medallion. Santino presents the marker to demand services from John, who declines. Santino retaliates by destroying John's house with a grenade launcher. John survives and travels to the Continental Hotel in New York City where Winston 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 honoring every marker. John reluctantly accepts his commitment and meets with Santino, who tasks him with assassinating his sister, Gianna, so he can claim her seat at the "High Table", a council of twelve high-level crime bosses. Santino sends Ares, his mute bodyguard, to observe John's mission.

In Rome, Italy, John infiltrates Gianna's coronation and confronts her in a dressing room. Faced with certain death, Gianna chooses to take her own life by slitting her wrists. As Gianna dies, John shoots her in the head to fulfill the marker. As John leaves, Gianna's bodyguard, Cassian, recognizes John and upon realizing that he was sent to kill Gianna, attacks him. John flees to the catacombs, where he is double-crossed by Ares and Santino's henchmen, who intend to tie up "loose ends" by killing him. After killing most of the henchmen, John is again pursued by Cassian. Their fight leads them into the reception area of the Rome Continental Hotel, which, like the New York Continental, prohibits conducting any "business" on its grounds. As the two share a drink, John explains his reason for killing Gianna. Nevertheless, Cassian promises to kill John quickly as a sign of professional respect.

As John returns to New York City, Santino opens a contract for $7 million to kill John under the guise of avenging his sister, leading numerous assassins to unsuccessfully attack John. Cassian confronts John in the subway and is left with a knife stuck in his aorta, leaving his fate uncertain. The badly injured John seeks help from an underground crime boss known as the Bowery King, whose subordinates treat John's injuries. Intrigued by John's intent to kill a member of the High Table, the Bowery King sportingly gives him a gun with only seven bullets, one for each million of the contract, and directs John to an art museum where Santino holds a gala. John pursues Santino throughout the museum, killing his remaining henchmen and Ares, but Santino manages to escape to the Continental, where he intends to remain indefinitely in its sanctuary. Despite Winston's warnings, the exasperated John shoots and kills Santino in the Continental lounge.

The next day, Winston meets with John and explains that, per the High Table, the contract on John has been doubled and offered globally. As a further consequence of killing Santino on Continental grounds, Winston declares John "excommunicado", terminating all his access and privileges to underworld resources. However, Winston delays announcing John's excommunication by one hour to give him a head start and provides him with a marker for future use. Before leaving, John advises Winston to tell every other assassin for the High Table that when they try to hunt him, they will all be killed. John departs with his dog as Winston makes a call enacting John's "excommunicado" to be activated in one hour. As the contract is activated and cellular phones begin to ring all around him, John begins to run.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In February 2015, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch stated that a John Wick sequel had begun development.[10][11] In 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.[12] 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.[13]

Casting[edit]

It was announced that Keanu Reeves, Leitch, and Stahelski would return, with filming set to begin in late 2015.[14] In October 2015, Common joined the film to play the head of security for a female crime lord,[5] and Ian McShane was confirmed to return as Winston, the owner of the Continental Hotel.[15] 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 (due to Michael Nyqvist having health problems).[7] In December 2015, it was announced that Laurence Fishburne would appear in a supporting role.[16] Reeves was trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu by the Machado brothers for the role.[17]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began on October 26, 2015, in New York City.[18] At the end of first week, filming had taken place in Manhattan. Filming moved to Rome next[15] and later resumed in Montreal on October 28, 2015. Studios shots were in New Jersey.[19]

Filming locations[edit]

  • Continental Hotel in New York - Reality: Beaver Building in Manhattan. The flatiron-shaped 15-story skyscraper was completed in 1904 in the Renaissance Revival style.[19]
  • Roof-top of Continental Hotel in New York - Reality: Roof garden of the Rockefeller Plaza building.[19]
  • John Wick's house - Reality: 121 Mill Neck, Long Island, NY.[19]
  • Continentale Hotel in Rome - Reality: the Museo Centrale del Risorgimento, located next to the Roman Forum.[19]
  • Gianna's coronation party - Reality: the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, the nearly 1,800 years old Roman public baths.[19]

Music[edit]

Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard returned to write and compose the film's soundtrack.[20] Along with the return of Le Castle Vania and Ciscandra Nostalghia,[21] the soundtrack has also featured Alice in Chains' guitarist and co-lead vocalist Jerry Cantrell in the song "A Job to Do", whose lyrics were written by Cantrell from the perspective of Keanu Reeves' character.[22]

Release[edit]

Theatrical[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.[23] In the United Kingdom, the film was granted a 15 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification after 23 seconds of 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.[24]

Home media[edit]

The movie was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on June 13, 2017, from Summit Inc/Lionsgate.[25][26][27]

Reception[edit]

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).[28]

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.[29][30] 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.[28]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 89% based on 274 reviews and an average rating of 7.40/10. The website'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."[31] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100, based on reviews from 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[32] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, an improvement from the "B" received by its predecessor, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 85% overall positive score and a 72% "definite recommend".[33][2]

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".[34] 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.[35] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it "the real deal" and "pure cinema".[36]

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".[37]

Both Richard Brody writing for The New Yorker and Stephen M. Colbert writing for Screen Rant 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".[38]

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club wrote that it "lacks the first film's domino-effect momentum". In part, he praised the action scenes as "entertainingly surreal".[39] In an opinion piece, Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian called the film "a shameful example of Hollywood gun pornography" with a "hyperactive, blood-soaked, corpse-strewn video game aesthetic" but "only trace elements of a plot" and wondered "where the line of decency is as audience bloodlust continues to get chummed".[40]

Sequel[edit]

In October 2016, Stahelski stated that a third film, titled John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, was in the works[41] and in June 2017 it was reported that Kolstad would return to write the screenplay with the completed film subsequently released in 2019.[42]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As depicted in the 2014 film John Wick.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John Wick: Chapter 2". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "'Lego Batman' Hooks $54M+, 'Fifty Shades' Rachets Up $48M+, 'John Wick 2' Targets $29M+ – Saturday Update". Deadline Hollywood.
  3. ^ a b "John Wick: Chapter 2". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "John Wick". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "'John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Update: Keanu Reeves Talks About Laurence Fishburne's Role". January 8, 2017. Archived from the original on January 8, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Jaafar, Ali (November 9, 2015). "'John Wick 2' Fills Out Cast, Old Favorites Return". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Jaafar, Ali (November 9, 2015). "'John Wick 2' Fills Out Cast, Old Favorites Return". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (October 26, 2015). "Ian McShane Returns for Keanu Reeves' 'John Wick 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Guerrasio, Jason (February 4, 2015). "'John Wick' Directors Are Already Working on a Sequel (Exclusive)". Movies.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  11. ^ "John Wick Sequel Already In The Works". Final Reel. February 5, 2015. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "Lionsgate Planning 'John Wick' Sequel". Variety. February 6, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Interview with Aol.build for John Wick 2. [1].
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 4, 2015). "Lionsgate Selling 'John Wick' Sequel At Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Kit, Borys (October 26, 2015). "Ian McShane Returns for Keanu Reeves' 'John Wick 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (December 18, 2015). "Laurence Fishburne Reunites With Keanu Reeves for 'John Wick 2' Cameo". Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  17. ^ Keanu Reeves Trains BJJ with the Machado Brothers Jiujitsu Times
  18. ^ "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. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Where was John Wick Chapter 2 filmed? Complete Filming Locations Guide". Atlas of Wonders.
  20. ^ "Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard to Return for 'John Wick: Chapter Two'". Film Music Reporter. April 11, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  21. ^ "'John Wick: Chapter 2' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. January 26, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  22. ^ "Jerry Cantrell Shares 'A Job To Do' From 'John Wick' Sequel". Billboard. February 9, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  23. ^ Evry, Max (February 18, 2016). "John Wick: Chapter Two Gets a Release Date". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  24. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) - Release Info". IMDb. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  25. ^ Amazon.com: John Wick: Chapter 2 (DVD). Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  26. ^ Amazon.com: John Wick: Chapter 2 (Blu-ray) . Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  27. ^ Amazon.com: John Wick: Chapter 2 - 4K Ultra HD (Blu-ray + Digital HD). Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Another Holiday Weekend Where Holdovers Reign & New Studio Releases Tank: Presidents' Day B.O." Deadline Hollywood. The sequel already has beaten the first installment’s $43M domestic final cume by 37%.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 26, 2017). "'Fifty Shades Darker' Poised To Submit To 'Lego Batman': Pre-Valentine's Day Weekend B.O. Forecast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  30. ^ "Box Office: Can 'Lego Batman,' 'Fifty Shades Darker' And 'John Wick 2' Outperform Their Tracking?". Forbes.
  31. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  32. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 2". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  33. ^ CinemaScore [@CinemaScore] (February 11, 2017). "Congratulations @JohnWickMovie for your A- #cinemascore grade!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ Tobias, Scott (February 8, 2017). "'John Wick: Chapter Two' Is A Skull-Shattering Sequel Determined To Outdo The Original". Uproxx. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  35. ^ Rougeau, Mike (February 8, 2017). "John Wick: Chapter 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  36. ^ Travers, Peter (February 7, 2017). "'John Wick: Chapter 2' Review: Keanu Reeves Is Back in Delirious, Mayhem-Filled Sequel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  37. ^ "The guns of John Wick 2", By David Maccar, February 10, 2017.[2].
  38. ^ Stephen M. Colbert, The World of John Wick Explained February 13, 2017.
  39. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (February 8, 2017). "Chapter 2 gives John Wick an irresistibly surreal follow-up". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  40. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (February 10, 2017). "John Wick: Chapter 2 is a shameful example of Hollywood gun pornography". The Guardian. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  41. ^ Page, Aubrey (October 10, 2016). "'John Wick 3' Already in the Works, Reveals Director Chad Stahelski; 'Chapter 2' Details Teased". Collider. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  42. ^ 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.

External links[edit]