By Ty Willis
“We have a fantastic cinematographer, Dan Lausten (Brotherhood of the Wolf), who spent two weeks down there with the action team coming up with a lighting scheme.”
John Wick: Chapter 2
March 1, 2017
REVIEW:The action thriller is back in theatres for a sequel, making all of its viewers ask for more
PHOTO BY johnwick.movie
In 2014, Keanu Reeves starred in the movie “John Wick.” The movie received critical acclaim, as people who watched were shocked by the blend of tightly choreographed action sequences and its shimmering intensity.
The film made an impressive $86 million in the U.S. theatres, four times more than its budget. Therefore, it’s no surprise that a sequel was announced, bringing back Reeves as the restless assassin in the action/thriller film “John Wick: Chapter 2.”
The film picks up shortly after the first film leaves off. Wick once again tries to settle down and stay out of the killing game until one of his former associates tracks him down and makes him do one last job as an assassin. Forced to settle an old debt, Wick is pitted against the combined might of both a powerful criminal family and the entire guild of assassins he once operated within.
Film director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad have both done an amazing job holding the viewer’s attention from the beginning of the film until the end. Rather than using the sequel to take John Wick in a new direction, they wisely chose to take a deeper dive into the world established by the first film and focus more in the wonderfully violent, fascinating sandbox they created.
Much of the focus of the 2014 film was on the spectacularly brutal action sequences, which served to draw in audiences and critics alike.
One particularly impressive sequence has John Wick battling his way through a maze of ancient catacombs in Rome. Adding a smart dose of dim lighting to go along with the explosive action, this takes the film’s hero from one dimly lit, subterranean room to the next.
“We have a fantastic cinematographer, Dan Lausten (Brotherhood of the Wolf), who spent two weeks down there with the action team coming up with a lighting scheme,” said Stahelski in an interview with SlashFilm.com.
”I like dark, sometimes dark means you can’t see. We did the movie dark, which means you can see, and we did that with different shades of blue and green. So you can see into the black.”
In contrast, another sequence has Wick pursuing a target through a modern art exhibit filled with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and psychedelic light shows. Given how great the fight choreography looked in the first movie, it’s no small feat to make it look better in the sequel. However, it was exactly what Stahelski did here.
This film has a lot of potential, and many people will enjoy it as much as I did, especially knowing that the cast of the film put as much work into it as they did for the prequel.