John Wick: Chapter 1; John Wick is a great film and the start of an amazing franchise. It is one of the best action films to come forth, especially in modern day. Not to mention the film is considered to be the centerpiece of its own subgenre with similarly styled movies such as The Equalizer and Léon: The Professional. However, John Wick isn’t an absolute masterpiece – it is just the very top of previous films like it. The actors fit their roles very well and playing Wick is one of the most defining roles in Keanu Reeves’ career. The script does most of the work in building the world as well as Wick’s character altogether. Speaking of his character, Wick is very interesting and is a perfect protagonist for the movie. He fits well into the story as a whole. The story that is emotional and easy to indulge audiences into even if they don’t watch many things like it. The action scenes are put together nicely, too. Each piece of this film’s puzzle fit together in a satisfying manner, making an overall great movie.
John Wick: Chapter 2; John Wick: Chapter 2 is another exhilarating entry in the action franchise and (arguably) is even better than the first. For starters, the acting across the board is great, due in large part to the greater variety of characters compared to that of the first John Wick. It’s these new characters who are the real stars of the show as they expand the series’ mythology in new and interesting ways. Director Chad Stahelski does an equally fine job of guiding the action as he does in the first, providing even more gung-fu carnage for us to enjoy. Stahelski is an action genius and his imagination never ceases to amaze. All these elements come together to form a film that can be more enjoyable than it’s predecessor in certain aspects. The action scenes are ambitious, the story elaborate (while not necessarily top-notch), and the set pieces are quite extravagant. Nearly everything is excellent and John Wick: Chapter 2 serves as a worthy sequel to the groundbreaking original.
Making the choice between this action flick and its sequel wasn’t so easy as the pair are pretty close in quality. The acting is pretty good in John Wick: Chapter 1 with Reeves and Willem Dafoe but the classically dynamic duo of Reeves and Laurence Fishburne gives John Wick: Chapter 2 a sharper edge. With Fishburne’s character there’s also an antagonist that is just as unlikable, yet more interesting and important. John Wick: Chapter 2’s script is good but not one that can compare to the verbal world-building in John Wick: Chapter 1. Although, the main separation between these two movies is the balance between story and action. John Wick: Chapter 1 has a story rich with emotion that entices audiences and sets it apart. The story in John Wick: Chapter 2 isn’t quite as good but it comes close, bringing together more important aspects of the world and fleshing things out some more. What really gives the upper hand are the awesome action scenes that pull it all together. Those action scenes are executed on and have more finesse in the latter of these two flicks, ultimately crowning John Wick: Chapter 2 over its predecessor.
John Wick: Chapter 1 – Cinemaster Score: 8.4/10
John Wick: Chapter 2 – Cinemaster Score: 8.7/10