John Wick Chapter 2 kicks off to a pulse racing start, jumping right into the action, with events taking place directly following those of the first John Wick.
With Keanu Reeves in the title role once again, John soon has a large bounty placed upon his life, after refusing a mark, and going against the ‘code’ that is so revered by all. This brings with it a few new opponents, including Ares (Ruby Rose – xXx: The Return of Xander Cage) bringing some tough female presence to the story, and Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), with Winston (Ian McShane – The Brothers Grimsby, Hercules) returning to oversee the Continental once again.
With so many stunts, fights and action scenes taking place right in camera, and Reeves doing as many of those himself as possible, the action will certainly bring with it a rather large kick of adrenaline for any audience member.
John Wick Chapter 2 is near non-stop action, built atop a very straight forward story, in a rather intriguing world. It plays out in its very own stylised way, with many a nod to other films and names in the action genre, while taking time to drop a few metaphors that if one should blink, one would most certainly miss many connections and connotations.
A fun, top notch adventure, which at the end, leaves one wanting more. And more, there is sure to be, as we eagerly await Chapter 3 in the series.
Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with a fun film, and some really good additional features.
John Wick Chapter 2 is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. Colours are vibrant, aligning with the intended look and feel of the film. There are no visible artefacts on screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Details in the many dark scenes are good.
Viewers with larger or higher resolution screens can scale up, should they wish.
Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with almost equal use of the front and surround channels. The surrounds are put to great use in the action scenes, even to the extent of really well mixed music making use of these channels.
Navigation on the disc is clear and easy to follow. The main menu has a motion background, sporting some artistically edited animated stills from the film, but no spoilers. There are text options here to play the main feature, scene selection, special features and setup options.
The scene selection sub-menus are static, with four large, colour, still thumbnails per menu. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, so an amount of guesswork would be needed to navigate to a specific spot in the film.
The special features sub-menu is easy to follow, with descriptive text links to each of the three bonus features.
Audio commentary with Keanu Reeves and Director Dan Stahelski – One of the most informative audio commentaries to accompany a film on disc. Driven mainly by Reeves, who often prompts Stahelski when reaching certain notable parts of the film, there is a plethora of information about the film, the filmmaking process, and the characters and the wold they inhabit.
Sure to be of interest to fans of the series, and filmmakers alike, this is a non-stop barrage of fact and insight. Most certainly something to delve into once you’ve watched the film.
Retro Wick: Exploring the Unexpected Success John Wick – After the phenomenal success of the first John Wick, this second incarnation seeks to expand the world. and delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Continental hotel.
This feature takes a look at what fans loved about the first film, and how to make it all bigger and better for the second, while remaining true to the cinematic world, and not alienating viewers by going too far.
A very interesting featurette.
As Above, So Below: The Underworld of John Wick – A look at the various aspects that make up the world of John Wick, both as a film, and character.
Another featurette that gives much insight into the story, and what goes into making the world we see on screen.