So you’ve enjoyed / endured two years of anticipation building up to the sequel to John Wick. You’ve watched trailers, teaser trailers, and tailor teaser trailers.
You’ve taken a leaf out of your hero Keanu’s book and defended Wick against all-comers, while wearing a tapered suit and looking battered-yet-sexy.
I didn’t see John Wick until it came out On Demand and I was not only immediately smitten by the movie and its world, but also really irritating towards anyone who had already seen it – like one of those new dads who has left it really late to have children then insists on explaining to all their friends with 4 kids each how to hold the baby’s head.
And finally John Wick Chapter 2 has opened! Previews here were on Valentine’s Day, when I went, and believe me the whole audience just looked like the kind of people for whom John Wick: Chapter 2 was the Valentine’s Day date movie they’d been waiting for all their lives.
So now you’ve seen it and it’s made your head go BOOM, right? I know that feeling. Check out my Whoa! Wick moments while we start the long, luckily-not-lonely wait for John Wick: Chapter 3.
When Keanu finds himself in England to catch up with the Bowery King who is in this sceptre’d isle at a pigeon fanciers’ meet. And where Jeremy Irons, the manager of London’s Continental Hotel for hitmen (posh aristocratic assassins and cockney geezer assassins, played by Hugh Grant and Kathy Burke respectively) leans closer to Wick over a nice cup of tea and says in a low voice “One question, Mr Wick… are you here for Her Maj?” And he’ll say “No, the corgis. Camilla sent me.”
My Top 10 Wick Whoa! Moments In Chapter 2
1 The Marker
It has NOT been repaid! Well he didn’t kill Gianna, did he – she killed herself. So he still owes Santino D’Antonio even though the Marker was later destroyed. It’s a blood oath right? Is it absolved now Santino is dead or does it pass to his heirs? I reckon this is Chapter 3 right there. Payment in the gold chocolate coins you get in those little net bags at Christmas, please, Chad Stahelski.
2 The Pigeons
Laurence Fishburne was a screen-grabbing Bowery King, covering his patch of New York City using a network of supposed beggars and homeless people as his eyes and ears. I couldn’t work out whether he just likes pigeons, or whether he uses them to send messages to hitmen, like wartime spies.
3 The Pencils
So it wasn’t up the nose like I thought but through the ear. Ouch. Delighted that bit of mythology was finally explored. Next time he should cut someone’s throat with a protractor then finish him off with a geometry compass.
4 The Dog With No Name
He needs a name. I’m going with Glock. Or Ted.
Wick Women are either dead, shortly to be dead (to be fair most people he comes into contact with of either sex go down this route) or serving behind a bar. He needs a nice, steady girlfriend by Chapter 8 (if each film is going to be set a week apart). Maybe a blonde… who likes baking… and is good at laundry? I AM SO GOOD AT BAKING AND LAUNDRY. There Chad Stahelski, FTFY.
6 His Poor Car!
By the time Aurelio has fixed it it’ll actually be a 2030 Mustang, it’ll have so many new parts.
7 Viggo’s Brother
Peter Stormare had a great cameo at the start of John Wick Chapter 2. Much less refined than Viggo (who looked cosmopolitan but was still 100% pure Russian under the skin), Abram is slicked-back and bearded. Sharing the screen with a still-battered but slicked-back and bearded John Wick, the two of them reminded me of those pictures of Tsar Nicholas II with his cousin King George V. Wick and Abram look similar and live according to underworld courtesy, but you know they would sacrifice each other (which is what George V did when he refused Tsar Nicholas and his family permission to come to Britain after their overthrow during the Russian Revolution). Abram survives Chapter 2, so it’ll be interesting to see if he comes back in the next instalment or whether Viggo has other siblings in the same line of work (maybe a… wait for it… SISTER! Sorry, crazy talk).
I know, I know, it sounds like a TV western shot in a small town with a disgraced ex-Pope for a sheriff, doesn’t it. With a theme song, also called Excommunicado, sung croakily by Axl Rose. But no. By the end of John Wick Chapter 2, poor John is not only battered, bruised, bloodied, lots of other things beginning with B, AND homeless, he’s also excommunicado. Which means presumably he’s a Dead Man Limping. Hopefully to counter the frankly thousands of assassins in NYC, there will also be a network of safe houses where he can shelter with Glock / Ted, perhaps run by someone blonde, good at baking, and laundry? (Chad, I’m over here!)
He definitely has a soft spot for John bordering on paternal. He can’t actually be Wick’s father, unless he is – like Keanu – also immortal and about 93. What’s their backstory? It’s got to be more than professional admiration, or even self-preservation (it never ceases to amaze me how many people are happy – nay desperate – to get on John’s bad side). Winston is desperate to make John pull back from his Continental-set assassination of D’Antonio but it’s in vain.
Common’s fabulous portrayal of Gianna’s bodyguard and friend was the second Cassian in movies since December. First Cassian Andor in Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, and now this. I have a Cassian and though he can’t actually watch either film for about 10 years, he’s delighted that there are more Cassians around now. Good things usually come in 3s, so now I think we need a Cassian in a film he can actually watch. Perhaps “Finding Cassian”, about a little fish who never tidies up after himself and then gets mislaid under a pile of train tracks and Thomas The Tank Engine carriages, or “The (Not Very) Big Friendly Cassian” who grabs your knees to hug you and simultaneously wipes his nose on your jeans. Or “The Lego Cassian Movie” where he falls into an enormous box of the foot-shredding stuff and emerges a brightly-coloured brick superhero, ready to beat the bad guys with fart jokes and assault by a shower of sweets. A Haribo Hitman, if you will.
- Interview with Sambo expert Stephen Koepfer. Sambo is a Russian fighting technique developed for the military, and now a sport. Steve worked with Chad Stahelski to create a Sambo training scene in John Wick: Parabellum.
- John Wick review
- John Wick: Chapter 2 review
- John Wick: Parebellum review
- “All this, because of a puppy?” Me to me, after writing 4,000 words on the John Wick trilogy…
- Kean-who? The Doctor will see you now
- 10 Reasons why… the ultimate alt-Xmas movie is John Wick
- 10 what’s with Wick moments from John Wick 1
- Podcast: I spoke to Tom Beasley from Flickering Myth about my favourite movie…
Buy the John Wick films