John Wick Chapter 2: A Hit and Miss

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This is what happens when you say “I crush and microwave my Weet-B  ix”

The good: The creative action sequences in the second half
The in-between: The supporting cast, the story (it coherent and makes sense)
The bad: The numbing and boring action sequences in the first half

I am surprised that many critics thought that John Wick Chapter 2 was completely innovative. I think it is innovative… in the second half. Mostly I was mildly interested, sometimes I was bored in the first half of the movie. As a matter of fact, a lot of the movie is completely generic.

The plot is that John Wick (Keanu Reeves) a retired hitman is brought back in the game reluctantly by a secret assassin society. The gangster that hires him Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), wants Wick to kill his sister in Rome to consolidate power in the society.

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Ian Mcshane plays Winston who I like to call “Da Boss”. I like his delivary when he says “excommunicado”

In the beginning of John Wick Chapter 2 John Wick is gets run over by evil henchmen three times and there were so much gunfire and murder. As a story I ask myself “Structurally, how is John Wick going to top this opening because I am pretty desensitized to this point” they do top it admittedly it was quite clever how it was executed.

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This “Hall of Mirrors” scene looks and is pretty cool. Well shot and choreographed.

I counted and there were about six moments that were actually cool. That’s a good number however nearly all of them were condensed in the climax meaning the first 90 minutes were a medicore affair. John Wick Chapter Two plays it’s hand in the final act. There are two action sequences. One of them is in the subway station both. The other one takes place inside a hall of mirrors. They both scenes that were both thrilling and inventive. Both are gimmicks that have been used before in movies but they have not worn out it’s welcome.

What has worn out its welcome in action movies are two things

1. The protagonist having 100% accuracy with a gun and
2. The arm bar.

 

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John Wick (and Mike Banning) never gets this notification. Lock-on is the equivalent of steroids in the bodybuilding world.

The “Man who never misses when firing his gun” cliche reduces action movies in a risk-free killing spree making it hard to care for John Wick’s fate since I believe he is not in any sense of danger.

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Now this is an arm bar

The arm bar to me has become a recent crutch in action movie. It’s like depending on swearing for a joke to be funny in a comedy. It’s been overused recently because people are now into Mixed Martial Arts. I have gotten tired of it. If someone is going to apply and armbar, I actually hope someone would actually break hyperextend or even break the arm for the sake of variety.

All the action in the first half of John Wick is a combination of those two boring and repetitive things. Oh and Wick gets run over by several cars. He has legs of steel.

I would argue that John Wick Chapter 2 were two separate movies. The first half I was deprived off anything that was interesting the story fell like a cheap knock-off of The Godfather. The second half consists of the John Wick Chapter 2 I wanted to see. It’s no great action movie Casino Royale or Face/Off but it sure isn’t as cartoonish and self-serving of a bad action movie like xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. ⭐⭐3/4

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage: So Fantastically Stupid.

Written by Nelson Cumming

The first 20 seconds of this movie consisted of a satellite dropping down and crashing to earth. I then asked myself “Shouldn’t that satellite have disintegrated upon re-entry?”

That was when I realized the xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. was not designed to make you think.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is fantastically stupid. So fantastically stupid that it was funny (for awhile). I have reviewed nearly 100 movies and I have never seen a movie that I have laughed so hard at for all the wrong reasons. I started to enjoy its stupid antics. That is until it took itself too seriously.

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This scene was unintentionally funny. Vin Diseal’s horrific dialogue was what made it watchable.

This movie was like a comedian suffering a mental breakdown halfway through their act. You wouldn’t know if this was part of the act. Then you realize it isn’t a part of the act and you have this sudden rush of concern and disappointment.

This is why I have to give it a negative review. I don’t know its intentions and therefore I don’t know how to take it. If this film intends to be a stupid as it comes off, I would be more open to it than if it was trying to take itself seriously.

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Their bond is like their tattoos: Skin deep.

As I said, I think that the humor was unintentional (I think) which is why this movie isn’t ingenious. To prove to you how stupid and unintentionally funny it is, I will reveal a segment from the first half of the movie:

It is established that Xander Cage has a girlfriend in the Dominican Republic. That girl has never seen again in the movie.

10 minutes later, Xander is trying to hook up with a girl in London. She brushes him off by saying “9 out of 10 sexual relationships fail to last”

Xander Cage responds with “But I know you like to gamble”.

She says she is not a gambler but instead gives him 7 girls to have sex with.

After Gage beds all of the women, Cage smiles at the camera before saying “The things I do for this country”

Rainbows of Stupid.

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When Yu-Gi-Oh came up with the idea of card games on motorcycles I thought, “No movie could top that level of stupidity” I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Don’t worry, this movie has a broader range of unintentional comedic stupidity. You have motorbikes that work like jet skis riding on the oceans and riding the tubes like surfboards. You also have Cage traversing down a jungle using skis, risking his life so he can connect a cable so his community would have TV reception.

This is the kind of stupid that goes on which makes xXx: The Return of Xander Cage so funny. It is only when it is serious when the movie crumbles. The action sequences are edited poorly with frantic quick cuts that your brain won’t process. The combat sequences are cliched and unoriginal. The characters are one-dimensional and the script was dead.

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If only they had another one of these…

F.Scott Fraiser is the scripwriter. This is the first film I have seen of his work. If he writes stories like this reguarly, he will be one of the worst scriptwriters on this planet.

If you are into campy movies. Watch the first half of the movie (up to and including the motorbike jet-ski scene) and then leave. It rivals with The Room in its unintentional comedy.

This is, so far, the funniest movie that I am giving a negative review. *1/2