Movies · Opinion · Pleasure Studies

Review: On John Wick Chapter 2

Sometimes, the build-up to a movie is as important as the watching – how you feel as you get ready to watch a film will inevitably color how much you enjoy the film itself. For example? I’m pleased I pretended you asked.

I remembered liking the original John Wick movie – an action movie with a sense of humor, an interesting world of assassin rules and codes of honor, and Keanu Reeves looking cool and capable. So, as the young people probably no longer say, getting tickets to the sequel was a no-brainer.

To be prepared, I re-watched the original and didn’t enjoy it quite as much second time around. When you know the plot, you’re left with the style and the action. And…it wasn’t enough.

Also, when I watched it the first time, I wasn’t a dog person. That didn’t help.

So, going to see John Wick Chapter 2 (it’s full, unnecessary title) was starting to seem like something of a chore. My first mistake was not making the effort to find the pills I needed. I could feel a headache coming on, but was heading out and didn’t think I needed to bother. A ten-minute walk through freakishly warm Texas weather and I had changed my mind. By the time I was in my seat, I was most concerned about not throwing up (and not seeing any more spoilers to the Kong movie that I really want to see).

A Friday afternoon matinee show of a week-old film is a good way to see a movie almost alone. There were fewer than ten people in the theater, including me and Youngest Child, and we were all grown-ups, more or less. Unfortunately, the fewer the number of people in a room, the more the behavior of each person counts. And so, for example, if there’s an unreasonable laugher – you know, the kind of person who will laugh at literally anything – then we are all-too aware of his lack of critical thinking.

And is it just me, or are movie theaters not as dark as they used to be? Didn’t they used to be completely blacked out when the movie was on? Am I remembering that correctly? Because this is not the case anymore.

I’m not getting old. You’re getting old.

The one thing I need you to know about the movie is that it is loud. I don’t know if it’s as loud as the first Resident Evil movie, which will live in my mind as the loudest thing I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been to bars in the US where the naturally loud residents of this fine country really start to let loose. But this was close. And my headache was feeling a little migraine-y at this point.

Sitting through the movie became less an exercise in mindless entertainment and more an endurance test. And the headache and nausea were only part of the problem.

So, to cut a long story short, I did not enjoy John Wick Chapter 2 as much as I hoped, and you probably won’t either. Unless you are looking to spend two hours watching hundreds of nameless extras – and the occasional familiar face – shot in the head. Because JWC2 is the Citizen Kane of masses-of-people-being-shot-in-the-head movies.

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