Watching Wednesday #12 – Whams and Woos
A New Chapter in the Book of Kicking Ass
The short of it: With another dose of beautiful action and steady camerawork, this is a chapter worth reading. Watching. Whatever.
The original John Wick was a bit of a surprise for me. Straight action films are more and more becoming nothing but diluted scenes of combat hidden behind bad cuts and confusing angles. But then there was this simple, straightforward movie that let its story have both intrigue and reason. The fights were brutally real, with amazing gun handling and painful hand to hand. It was brilliant.
It’d be easy to say that I was nervous about a sequel or that it’d be tough to follow up the original. But I wasn’t– that’s what I think separates the Wick series from other well done action flicks. It’s a blockbuster passion project kind of thing, where everyone involved knows exactly what they want to make. You can’t make a movie like John Wick and then ruin the next one.
I mean, it’s more of what made the first one so good. It’s a world that, although hinted at, doesn’t fully expose itself. There’s all kinds of questions that don’t get exact answers and the couple of answers the viewer can get are basically just hints. And that’s wonderful. The Wicks are some of the leanest mainstream movies I’ve seen, cutting out the extraneous nonsense like overt sentimentality or explicit explanations. Spoilers, but John Wick doesn’t sit down and tell his dog, “You’re all I have my wife is dead emotions are empty except these feelings for pet.” He pats his dog’s head and boards him while he rampages. No emotional cheap shots. Just sick head shots.