One of the most influential film critics of all time was a distinguished gentleman named Joe Bob Briggs. He wrote narrative into his reviews about taking Betty Sue to the drive-in and getting into it with her old boyfriend. He loved exploitation and schlock. He loved violence. (I’m writing about him as though he is dead but he is still kicking rocks. Go check him out HERE.
The thing that Joe Bob always did that kept echoing through my mind as I watched the latest chapter of John Wick was keep track of the body count and how they died.
“Fifteen dead bodies. No breasts. Flaming baby. Mace-clubbing. Eyeball-ripping. Eyeball-eating. Multiple ancient curses. Exploding demon. Close-up gunshot wound to the head.”
Well the count is high on John Wick Chapter 2 and Joe Bob would have a field day. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there are 117 deaths by headshot. 2 by pencil. And it is all glorious.
John Wick is not just an action film, it is a celebration of action films. The one-liners are there. The flimsy motivation is there. The violence is soaking the screen to the point of Ultra-Violence. Keanu Reeves is so firmly in his element that it is joyous for the viewer to see our old friend kung fu his way through subways, Italian ruins and the streets of New York.
I will not mince words. This film is fantastic and almost cathartic as the world is going through a turbulent time. I found watching John practice his ART as therapeutic, a salve on the wounds.
It’s early February but John Wick: Chapter 2 is the best movie of the year so far. Bold, I know.