The "John Wick" series has turned into a visceral, 21st century homage to the B-movie. It is very hard not to enjoy what Keanu Reeves and the directing duo of Chad Stahelski/David Leich have done with the first two installments . The story itself was simple: A low-key, but lethal hitman gets brutally beaten up by gangsters and, more importantly, his dog gets killed, which flicks off a switch in his head to exact the ultimate revenge. On a $20 Million budget the first filmmade $86 Million at the box-office, but, more importantly, it became an enormous hit on streaming services and home video. "John Wick: Chapter Two" made $92 Million at the domestic box-office.
Who doesn't love a movie about revenge? What Liam Neeson did in "Taken" was clearly an influence, in fact it's turning into the most influential action movie of the last 15 or so years. "Chapter Two" was actually a better movie than the original "John Wick" and didn't run into the same problems the "Taken" sequels had at their disposal. Repetitiveness wasn't an issue, this was bolder filmmaking. Everything in "John Wick 2" was amped in more ambitious ways.
The two most important qualities an action movie must have at its disposal, safe for a great, visually gifted director which these films do have, are a) a protagonist you care about and b) an antagonist you despise. The "John Wick" films had both.
There was so much going on in every action-fueled frame of "Chapter Two" that it deserved repeated viewings. Stahelski stuffed his film with the kind of jolt I didn't expect. The action felt like poetry in motion, a ballet of bullet-riddled choreography that had to be seen to be believed. It has actually achieved the impossible: Made me look forward to the next film.
Et voila. Here we are, "John Wick: Chapter 3" is set for release this coming summer and the trailer has just been released. Joining Reeves for the fiesta will be returning cast members Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, and Laurence Fishburne, with Halle Berry joining in on the fun as well. Berry plays Sofia, an assassin and friend of John Wick, assisting him on this latest mission.