John Wick: Chapter 2 Praised As Fresh and Dazzling Installment From Critics

Great news for fans of the Keanu Reeves action franchise, with the latest reviews for John Wick: Chapter 2 giving a resounding two thumbs up. Director Chad Shahelski will be just as relieved as anyone after taking the reigns on his own, impressing the early moviegoers who are charged with giving their opinion on the picture in question.

Alongside a few new faces in Ruby Rose, Common and old Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne, Reeves is back in the groove again with this hotly anticipated follow up to the 2014 original. The film hits the mark in every sense of the word to deliver a heart-pounding rollercoaster ride, a fantastic prospect for those that have already bought a ticket ahead of it's release later in the week on February 9.

Grace Amid The Carnage

John Wick Chapter 2 Poster Cropped

Peter Debruge of Variety agrees with the point made by Stahelski in an earlier interview, with the filmmaker explaining that he likes to tell a story during an action sequence.

"Chad Stahelski succeeded not on the strength of its story, but on the elegance of its action," explains the reviewer. "There’s a quality to the violence here that elevates it above the literal (and reprehensible) nihilism of movies like last year’s Hardcore Henry, and instead achieves something more akin to dance."

Justin Lowe of THR describes the title as "rewardingly relentless" to champion the ambitious production.

"The success of John Wick: Chapter 2 will go a long way toward demonstrating whether the franchise can distinguish itself from the competition in that rarefied realm, although it appears to have a good chance of topping its predecessor's opening weekend haul of nearly $14.5m," starts Lowe. "Reeves is back in fine form, confirming how indispensable he is to the franchise with his lithe physicality, no-nonsense demeanor and impressive skill set, as he again performs many of his own driving and martial arts stunts... The film’s frenetic opening car chase through night-lit Manhattan streets, followed by a near demolition derby scene as Wick targets the Russian mob’s vehicle fleet by using the Mustang as a kinetic weapon, rank respectably with almost anything that the Fast and Furious franchise can muster."

The Role Reeves Suits More Than Any Other

John Wick

Chris Hewitt of Empire argued that Reeves is at his best as John Wick after giving the sequel 4/5 stars, with the actor focusing on his physical attributes without the need for lengthy period of dialogue.

"On the surface, John Wick seemed the same old guff about a world-class assassin called out of a peaceful retirement when he loses something near and dear to him," writes Hewiit. "But from the off it was perfectly coiffed head and shoulders above the competition, with a slick, seriously stylish swagger and a darker, more playful wit... Wick is a man of few words but many bullets — it’s a role that fits the taciturn Reeves like a glove. Few actors can boast one great action role. With this, Neo, Speed’s Jack Traven and Point Break’s Johnny Utah, Reeves is up to four. Not bad for a geriaction star."

Julia Alexander of Polygon thinks this installment is near perfect to state that the flick ticks two very important boxes.

"The beauty of John Wick: Chapter 2 is it combines all of the ingredients that made the original spectacular, but adds in enough self-awareness about its ridiculousness that it feels both smarter and funnier than the first," says Alexander. "I went into John Wick: Chapter 2 expecting a decent sequel that payed homage to the first. I walked out pleasantly surprised at how fresh, unique and improved Stahelski managed to make it seem in comparison to the first, and excited for the future of the franchise that’s already emerging."

Source: Variety, THR, Polygon, Empire