Film / John Wick: Chapter 2

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The only way out... is back in.
"Whoever comes, I'll kill them. I'll kill them all."
John Wick

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a 2017 action thriller movie starring Keanu Reeves as the titular character.

Almost immediately following the events of the first film, legendary hitman John Wick is forced back out of retirement by Santino D'Antonio, who wants to use John's skills to propel himself to a seat at the High Table, a cabal of the world's most powerful criminal organizations. Bound by a blood oath to help Santino, John travels to Rome, where he must square off against some of the world's deadliest killers.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.

John Wick: Chapter 2 contains examples of:

  • Ace Custom: John procures 3 highly-customized firearms from the Sommelier (in real life, done by Taran Tactical Innovations,) all of which he uses to fight off scores of mercs. Downplayed in that he does lose them eventually, and resorts to using standard guns without much reduction in capability.
  • Action Prologue: The film opens with John fighting to recover his car that was stolen in the first film.
  • Actionized Sequel: The body count in this film is almost double that of the first movie.
  • Affably Evil: Winston and Julius are very affable and, considering the profession they're in, evil by implication. But the Sommelier stands out as someone who seems to take real pleasure in thinking about what guns and knives can do to people, while describing them like fine wines.
  • The Alleged Car: John's poor Mustang ends up as this after it gets almost completely wrecked in the prologue.
  • All There in the Manual: Ares' name is never said during the film, though it is briefly visible accompanying a picture identifying her among other assassins.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • At the start of the fight in Rome John takes out a security guard on stage next to the DJ and the audience applauds, seemingly thinking that it's a part of the show. However, people to start to panic when John later runs through the middle of the crowd with a gun continuing to eliminate security.
    • John, face covered in bloody bruises, runs through a crowded New York subway with his gun barely concealed and nobody cares. Even for New York that's extreme.
    • John & Cassian continue down a subway hallway, calmly walking along, while shooting at each other with suppressed pistols. No-one so much as bats an eyelid.
    • Averted in some cases. When the Violin Woman attacks John, crowds flee. And when John and Cassian start shooting in the plaza, the people there take off running, giving John some cover to escape to the subway.
    • Once John & Cassian have their final battle in the subway, they start a knife fight in a subway car. None of the handful of people watching them get up to leave to go to another subway car, and only get up at all once the subway train pulls into a station.
  • Asshole Victim: Santino.
  • Badass Beard: John, of course. But Cassian sports a carefully trimmed goatee as well.
  • Badass Boast: John, at the end, vows to kill anyone who stands in his way when everyone goes on a manhunt after him.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Once again, John dresses in a sharp black suit before going to work. He gets two tailor-made in Rome (one for day, one for night) with a special carbide lining for protection.
    Angelo: How about the lining?
    Wick: Tactical.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After the Bowery King helps John, he tells John that he's owed a favour. John warns him of this.
    John: You don't want me owing you.
  • Berserk Button: It seems like John doesn't like just anybody referring to him as "Jonathan". The only people we've seen call him "Jonathan" are Winston and Addy the bartender from the first movie, both of whom are very friendly with John. When Santino mockingly repeats Winston's use of the name, he ends up with a bullet in his brain before he can finish the sentence.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When Gianna D'Antonio realizes that John has come, she slits her wrists and wades into her bath to bleed out rather than be shot by John. John puts a bullet in her head after she fades away just in case. Neither is happy about the situation and John actually holds her hand and comforts her in her last moments.
  • Big Bad: Santino D’Antonio sets the events of the movie in motion by antagonizing John and twisting his arm to take action.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: The first movie had shown us criminal organizations run free in NY. This film shows us maybe 1/3 of NY's entire population is composed of assassins. It gets to the point assassins can have long-winded shoot-outs in an open, crowded street with not a single soul interfering.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, Santino seems like a nice guy. He politely and respectfully greets John when he visits John at his home. He even goes as far to say that he regrets to make John fulfill his Marker to him. Even after getting rejected and burning John's house down in retaliation, he apologizes to John in their second meeting and seems remorseful it has come to that. However, after John fulfills his part of the deal, killing Santino's sister so he could get her place at the High Table, he quickly changes his tune. Santino tries to get John killed to clean up loose ends and sets a 7 Million bounty on his head. By their third meeting, the polite and respectful demeanor he had for John was gone and it was replaced with a smug and arrogant attitude that he held for the rest of the film.
  • Bittersweet Ending: John gets his revenge on Santino, but at the cost of getting himself excommunicated from the Continental and having a $14 million bounty on his head.
  • Black Comedy: Although this film is decidedly darker and bloodier than the first, there is still a decent amount of humor due to the filmmakers deciding the embrace the inherent absurdity of the setting's heightened realism and simply play everything straight without any winks or nods to the audience.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Blood splatters are made much more apparent than in the first film, and a handful of the kills themselves are especially gruesome.
  • Blood Oath: The Marker, implied to be an exchange of favors. It's kept in the form of a medal that pops open to reveal the fingerprint of the person who owes the favor, inked in blood, and when the favor is repaid, the holder of the favor pricks his own finger and marks it.
  • Bowdlerise: The UK theatrical release cut off about 20 seconds to avoid an 18 certificate. It was released uncut on home video, however.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: At the end of the movie, Wick's contract against him goes international and doubles in price. Winston gives Wick one hour before every single hitman in the city goes after him once again and the ending scene shows Wick making a run for it while looking at every passer-by suspiciously.
  • Boom, Headshot: While already something of a Signature Move for Wick, as the trailer shows, things ramp up even more.
    • Justified because all those nice tailored outfits everyone wears are lined with high-tech bulletproof armor. When John and Cassian first try to shoot each other, they aim for each other's chestnote  which only knocks both of them down. John later lifts up his armored jacket to hide his own head. Headshots are the only way to make sure a Mook stays down.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Once again beautifully averted, but especially for the final fight, as John only has a single pistol with seven rounds to his name, and has to constantly grab guns from fallen enemies once his ammunition runs out.
  • Bulletproof Vest:
    • John's tailor-made suits feature carbide sheets sewn between the outer fabric and the inner lining to protect against bullets. As the tailor notes, getting shot will still hurt like hell. And he's right, when John takes off the suit midway through the movie, he is bruised quite badly. Only the suit is lined with that. John's shirts? Not so much. He later gets shot point blank through the shirt and is left in a heavily weakened state.
    Angelo: Silicone carbide discs... ceramic matrices... accompanied laminate... cutting edge body armor. We just sew it between the fabric and the lining. Zero penetration. However... [makes a pained expression] ...quite painful, I'm afraid.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Subverted from the scenario in the first movie. The Big Bad knows of John's reputation, but drastically misreads his intentions. John reverted to his old self in the first movie for love, not work. Santino compels John to kill his sister, thinking John is back to being an assassin, which he is expressly, violently not.
    • Winston later calls Santino out on this, saying that what he did while forcing John to redeem the Marker was perfectly legal under Continental rules, it wasn't very bright, and now that the Marker is out of the equation, there's nothing in the rules preventing John from seeking revenge.
    • Similar to the first movie, the majority of the plot is put in motion because Santino was arrogant and overestimated his power. He didn't have to call in his marker. He didn't have to have his team try to eliminate John. And he didn't have to call John to act the suffering victim and claim that it was appropriate for him to avenge his sister's murder.
  • Burn Baby Burn: When Santino destroys Wick's house, the flames burn all of the photos of Helen.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Bowery King tells John that they had met before, but he doubts that John remembers it. Back then, John was the Boogeyman of the Mafiya and he was just a random mook that got outmatched and was given the opportunity to back off and save himself.
  • Cain and Abel: Santino wants his own sister killed so he can take over her seat on the High Table.
  • Call-Back:
    • Ares tells John (in sign language): "Be seeing you, John". Those were also Viggo's Famous Last Words in the previous film. This happens again when she's dying, making them her Famous Last Words too.
    • Once again, the response to someone saying John Wick's name is "Oh."
    • Abram (played by Peter Stormare) describes John as 'a man of focus, commitment', and then relays the story about John killing three men with a pencil to his henchman, saying that it was a story told to him by his brother, Viggo.
    • When John calls Abram on phone to tell him he's come for the car, Abram fearfully mutters "Baba Yaga" with subtitles reading "The Boogeyman". This echoes how Viggo sang a Ironic Nursery Tune to himself right before John's first battle in the previous film.
    • Jimmy the cop turns up again after John's home gets blown up and asks John if he's working again, mirroring an exchange they had in the previous film.
    • Later on, we actually see John kill two assassins with a pencil.
    • A very subtle one. At the end, after Wick broke the rules of the Continental, he strides towards Winston in a park much like Perkins in the first movie, and walks directly over a circle with four circles around it, symbolically evoking Perkins' fate when she broke the rules of the Continental. It's actually the same location in Central Park where Winston met Perkins: she just didn't quite make it to the fountain. Winston evidently has a penchant for that particular spot when it comes to dealing with certain underworld matters...
    • John once again asks Charon for something trivial that the Continental can't do. Last time it was for a dry cleaner, this time it's dogsitting.
    • Like the New York Continental, the Rome Continental doesn't have an in-house tailor. John has to go to another establishment for his suits.
    • Like Marcus, Gianna chooses to go out her own way, slitting her wrists rather than letting/forcing John to kill her.
    • The ending has John jog with his pitbull along the river. The context, though, is much more sinister.
  • Car Fu: Abram's men try to stop John when he steals back his Mustang primarily by smashing it up with every other car they've got. John returns the favor a few times, including slamming a mook into a pillar with a J-turn. Astonishingly, the Mustang remains drivable, if only barely.
  • Carnival of Killers: Part of the plot is that John Wick once again has a price on his head, except this time it's international, meaning a veritable army of multinational killers are on his tail.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Averted. John has to quickly grab for his Glock in the middle of changing out shotgun shells, narrowly avoiding death in the process.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Santino first tasks John to kill his sister so that he can usurp her position at the High Table, and then tries to kill John almost immediately after he fulfills his Marker, with the excuse that he needs to avenge his sister's death by killing her killer.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • John did not forget about his Mustang. He also begins the film driving the Chevelle SS Aurelio provided to him as a loaner in the first film.
    • One of John's passports is Russian, befitting who he used to work for.
  • Contract on the Hitman: And it goes international, too! Like in the previous movie, John gets rid of it by killing the man who issued the contract. Unfortunately, the manner in which he did so just caused Santino's associates to put a bigger price on his head the next morning.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The unseen High Table includes representatives from the Triads, Commorah, and other ethnic criminal outfits.
  • Crazy-Prepared: John stashes weapons and ammo along his escape route in the catacombs, in case he's caught and has to fight his way out.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Those show up frequently. Bowery King's lair is brimming with Gothic-ish crosses, for example.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Cassian understands why John had to do what he did, but he reminds him that an eye for an eye is the way of their business and swears to kill him later. Santino also mocks John for having nothing else left but an addiction to revenge, even though the whole situation is his own darn fault.
  • Dark Action Girl:
    • In the vein of Adrianne Palicki's character from the original John Wick, the sequel gives us Ares, played by Ruby Rose.
    • There's also the violinist assassin who comes after John when he returns to New York and Santino has put a price on his head.
    • The seamstress at the Tailor's sweatshop looks like a battered old woman, but pulls out a pistol to demonstrate John's new bulletproof suit.
  • Darker and Edgier: John Wick: Chapter 2 is quite a bit darker than the first movie in tone and theme. While the first movie was a more straight-forward revenge plot, this one deals with themes like honor, duty, destiny and death. Markedly, while the first was a lot more humorous in showing Iosef and Viggo panicking over Wick's wrath, this time Wick's foes are deadly serious. It's even noticeable that every single victory Wick achieves over the movie is Pyrrhic at best, unlike the first.
  • Dark Lady And Black Knight: Gianna and Cassian can be seen as a modern take on this, and Santino and Ares can be seen as a gender-swapped version.
  • Deadly Euphemism: John rebuilding his arsenal plays out as if he is attending a wine tasting, complete with sommelier, to stock up for a "party" with John's requests being phrased like wine descriptions.
    Sommelier: Mr. Wick? Do enjoy your "party".
  • Death Glare: Ares delivers a brutal, if impotent one to John after he fatally stabs her.
  • Dented Iron: According to Word Of God, the film begins four days after the first, meaning that John is still recovering from being stabbed twice, thrown off a balcony, hit by a car and taking the impact of two bullets to a bulletproof vest.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: This was the real message that John was trying to send Santino when the latter came to collect on the marker. John doesn't want to be an assassin again, but if Santino insists, and John accomplishes his honor-bound mission, he's going to come back and kill Santino for forcing him into this.
  • The Dragon:
    • Ares, the mute androgynous bodyguard, leads Santino's men.
    • Cassian is one to Gianna. Notable, as Cassian is the only person to have walked away from a fight with John Wick alive, twice. Barely.
  • The Dreaded: When John arrives at Rome, one of the first questions he gets from an old friend is:
    Are you here for the Pope?
  • Drink Order: Cassian drinks gin. John drinks bourbon.
  • Driven to Suicide: Gianna D'Antonio would rather slit her own wrists than be killed by John.
  • Foil: Cassian is the one of the few people who can match John Wick in skill and tactics, except Cassian is a bodyguard, while John is an assassin. Physically, Cassian is a bald black man, while John is a long-haired white man. Even their drink orders reflect each other, John's is bourbon straight up in a low wide glass, and Cassian's is gin on the rocks in a high narrow glass.
  • Ear Ache: It doesn't get much better than having a pencil rammed, point first, into your ear. And then getting it hammered in.
  • Elite Mook:
    • Subverted with Santino's bald, bearded henchmen. During the final action scene he's with Santino the entire time as his primary bodyguard, but gets gunned down ridiculously fast. He does provide John with fresh ammo though.
    • Played straight by the muscular, machine-gun wielding henchmen who accompany The Dragon as back-up in the final shoot-out at the museum. They provide John with plenty of fight before they get taken out.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The movie has a more high-class version of a barkeep, The Sommelier, who finds sheer delight in offering his fine selection of guns.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The management of the Continental of Rome asks for John's assurance that he isn't there to kill the Pope.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: Discussed. The death of Viggo has eradicated The Mafiya's hold over New York, and the Camorra itself apparently interested to take over the city. After Gianna's death, everyone discusses what would happen if Santino tries to take over.
  • Exact Words: The Bowery King, caught between wanting to help John Wick for a pseudo-debt and pissing off a powerful crime syndicate, acquiesces to John's request to "give [him] a gun" by giving him a single gun, loaded with seven bullets - reflecting the seven million dollar bounty on John's head.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Gianna D'Antonio makes no attempt to run or call for help when John comes to kill her. They have a sad but pleasant conversation as she disrobes, enters her bath and slits her own wrists.
    • After John has killed Santino in the Continental and in front of Winston, he follows Charon to the spot where Ms. Perkins was executed in the first movie, without resisting, clearly expecting to suffer the consequences of his actions.
  • Flipping the Bird: Ares uses a non-standard finger when giving the sign-language for "one".
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: Ares cops a feel on John's butt (and crotch) while giving him a patdown.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: Part of John Wick's Gun Fu in a few scenes.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: The Brazilian release actually calls the film "John Wick" this time, but rather than Chapter 2 it uses "A New Day to Kill". Chile and Peru also used this subtitle, while Spain uses "Blood Oath" instead.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the movie Winston says that he proposed that John be excommunicado instead of killed if he refused to honor the Marker, but the High Table refused. At the end of the movie John is excommunicado for killing Santino on Continental grounds instead of outright killed like Miss Perkins. Winston is able to do this because it is in his power to do so.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During John and Cassian's conversation at the Continental bar, Ares can be seen taking a seat a couch behind them and smirking for the entire conversation.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Like the first movie, when characters are speaking in foreign languages or sign language, important or emphasized words are usually put in a different color and font.
  • Gang of Hats: Rome not only has its own hierarchy of criminals, but also its own Continental, which is also managed by a dapper old gentleman, and has its own black concierge with an African accent (albeit female).
  • Giant Mook: One of the assassins after John is a Sumo-type gentleman, and is probably the only person John has to use more than 3 bullets to kill. And earlier, one of Abram's men is pretty big, and John has to draw his gun to take the guy out after dispatching all the other henchmen with fisticuffs.
  • Gilded Cage: Santino tries to turn the Continental into one to escape John's wrath. It doesn't work.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The first fight between Cassian and John ends with them smashing into the Continental in Rome. They're forced by the Manager there to enjoy a drink together at the bar, as "conducting business" on Continental grounds could be fatal for all parties involved.
  • Grenade Launcher: Santino destroys John's house with one.
  • Gun Fu: Just like the first movie, John Wick uses a combination of the C.A.R. (Center Axis Relock) shooting technique and jujutsu-style grapples in his gunfights.
  • Gun Porn: The Sommelier scene is one of the classiest versions of this trope in recent memory.
  • Hate Sink: Santino puts the unsympathetic in unsympathetic character.
  • Hall of Mirrors: One of these acting as an art installation is the stage for the final big shoot out.
  • Heroic Bloodshed: While the first movie had strong elements of this genre, Chapter 2 goes all-in with criminals with codes and rules, a lot of Gun Fu, and even a few doves.
  • Hollywood Healing: Considering the film begins only four days after the first, John recovered from his nearly fatal injuries rather quickly. Once the film starts though, it's averted.
    • Not quite averted. While fighting Cassian and other assassins in New York John is shot in the abdomen, stabbed in the thigh, and takes quite a few punches, none of which seem to have much lasting effect.
  • Hollywood Silencer. Taken to an absurd degree. John and Cassian are walking in a subway station with Cassian on a higher level than John. Both of them take potshots at each other with silenced pistols but mostly hit the walls and columns. No one else notices the subtle gunfight happening inches away.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Like his backstory in the first film, John is forced to go on a Suicide Mission and dismantle an entire criminal organization single-handedly because he swore a blood debt. Escalated, as John expressly did not want the mission, and once it was over, returned to kill the man who forced the assignment upon him and then betrayed him, which then brings the whole criminal world on him.
    • Also, Cassian. Even knowing that John's hit on his ward was strictly business, Cassian took Gianna's death personal.
  • Hufflepuff House: Of the 12 criminal organizations with seats on the High Table, only the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra and the 'Ndrangheta are mentioned by their individual names, the Chinese and the Russians are mentioned in general terms and the rest not at all. And of all 12 only the Camorra plays an active role in the story.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Like the first film, John takes an intense amount of damage including taking the impact of at least 20 bullets, two brutal fist fights, falling down stone stairs, getting shot twice in the gut, and stabbed in the leg.
  • Idiot Ball: John has a well-earned reputation as The Dreaded, so it's a little strange when, after the bounty is put on him, every random contract killer in New York seems to think to themselves, "John Wick? Yeah, I could take him." Granted some actually had a good shot at him and John nearly dies the moment he returns to New York.
    • It could be possible where compared to the last film, it was just an idotic son who underestimated John Wick, whereas in this film, the other assassins could be fellow The Dreaded as well.
  • Immediate Sequel: The film gives this impression by opening with the same panning shots over New York that the previous one ended with. John still had to recover his car, after all. However, Word of God is that it begins four days after the first.
  • Impaled Palm: Done to Ares by John, in a fruitless attempt to stop a knife to the heart.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    • There are quite a few moments when John is alerted to a mook's presence by a shot or shots that miss him.
    • More broadly, he's lucky that the mooks all seem to attack him with Run-and-Gun tactics, in which his quicker reflexes and superior aim give him the advantage, instead of carefully aiming from behind cover. Especially noticeable in the catacombs and the museum.
  • Improbable Weapon User: John, as usual, but in a nice Call-Back kills two men with a single pencil.
  • Instrument of Murder: The violinist assassin attacks John with a gun hidden in her violin.
  • Ironic Echo: When Cassian and John stop fighting and decide to drink due to Continental's rules, Cassian pays for the round of drinks, saying "Call it a professional courtesy". John repeats the exact phrase once he stabs Cassian and makes an explanation of what happens should he attempt Lodged-Blade Recycling.
  • It Has Been an Honour: Charon says something to this effect when John gets out of the car, having driven him to his excommunication from the Continental.
  • King of the Homeless: The Bowery King, an assassin who leads a large network of homeless people (a fair few of which are also assassins) in New York City.
  • Knee Capping: John Wick does this frequently, but always as a set-up for his signature Boom Headshots. He most notably does this to a Giant Mook in the beginning action sequence.
  • Knife Fight: A brutal one between Cassian and John. And a one-sided one later with Ares.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • In the beginning of the movie, John comes a'collectin' at Abram's shop for his stolen car from the first movie. Abram, despite being the brother to the Big Bad and the uncle of John's target from the first film, decides to make peace with John when his men get predictably massacred.
    • John himself, when a shot to the gut proves to be something even he can't fully walk off, instead of trying to fight his way out he manages to keep moving just long enough to find one of The Bowery King's lookouts and pays for safe passage.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: John's Signature Move is a wristlock/arm-bar into a throw into a headshot. One of the assassins in New York appears to be a sumo wrestler, with all the weight that implies. He throws John around. Repeatedly.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Ares, played by the androgynous Ruby Rose, who was born female but identifies as gender-fluid.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Towards the end of this film, Santino attempts to protect himself by turning the Continental into a sanctuary only to find that John's wrath is too great. This both references and addresses a headscratcher from the first film where viewers wondered why Viggo simply didn't lock Iosef away in the Continental to protect his son.
  • Large Ham: The Bowery King, full stop, in deliberate contrast to Winston's more understated presence.
    "Somebody PLEASE give this man a gun!"
  • Lock and Load Montage: One of the swankiest ones in movie history. John:
    • Gets armed by a Sommelier who offers weapons like he's offering fine wine.
    • Gets armor that also doubles as a nice suit (or a nice suit that doubles as body armor).
    • Buys a layout to his target's compound from an antique merchant.
  • Loophole Abuse: Wick's target this time around is a crime boss that, near the end of the movie, shelters himself inside the Continental in order to stay there indefinitely, knowing John can't kill him on neutral ground. John does it anyway, even though it gets him excommunicated from the criminal world and essentially makes him an open target.
  • Made of Iron: John has barely recovered from the events of the first film, but getting hit by a car once or twice doesn't K.O. him anymore.
    • The Sumo Assassin John runs into takes two headshots before finally dying. Along with half-a-dozen other bullets, and it was only the first headshot that actually made him go down.
  • The Mafia: Well, Camorra, actually. Probably one of the first times the Sicilian Mafia's older, arguably even more powerful cousin has been featured in American cinema.
  • The Mafiya: Leftovers of the ones from the first one are involved in the opening action sequence under Abram.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Santino decides that since John unretired long enough to recover his car and avenge his dog, he'd be willing to stay unretired long enough to do One Last Job.
  • Mercy Lead: Due to a combination of their long association with each other and the extreme provocation behind John's breaking the rules of the Continental, Winston allows John a one hour head start before officially declaring him Excommunicado instead of having him summarily executed like Ms. Perkins was in the previous film.
  • Misplaced Retribution:
    • John ends up dismantling Viggo's syndicate and goes after his brother Abram, who has his car, but outside of that had no real role in John's misfortunes in the previous film. Abram himself notes it's unlikely that he can talk John down. However after an initial fight, John makes it clear he only wants his car and offers to leave Abram in peace. Abram, knowing and fearing John's prowess, accepts and their conflict ends.
    • Despite Cassian knowing exactly who's responsible for ordering the hit on his principal, he's willing to take a contract from the man who ordered the hit on the man who was forced by the rules of the Continental to accept it.
  • Money Is Not Power: Santino has no apparent fighting skills and continually tries to best John with his vast wealth: first sending his own guards to kill John, then placing a huge bounty on his head. When all that fails, he runs to The Continental, where John can't touch him, and implies that he'll simply stay there indefinitely, while his men continue to pursue John outside. This fails when John shoots him in the head anyway, knowing full well that he'll probably be killed for it.
  • More Criminals Than Targets: New York's population is one third assassins, one third assassin related associates and one third miscellaneous. Winston shows that he can fill a spot in Central Park in the middle of the day exclusively with his employees and that's only a fraction of his men and influence.
  • Morton's Fork: When given the task to redeem his Marker by Santino, John is faced with two choices, both ending up with results that doesn't end up with his favor, either he rejected the Marker and face the wrath of Santino, who has the obligation to retaliate, for not fulfilling it thus having his house burned down or kill his target, a person who has a seat at the High Table and probably suffer the repercussions of killing a High Table member.Or face the wrath of Santino again where he sets up for John to be killed after he fulfilled his end of the deal.
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: The High Table is introduced in this film and represents many international organized crime syndicates but their priorities are left a mystery for now.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: John breaks the rules of the Continental and shoots Santino in the head. Now the whole world is after John, but not before John declares he'll kill everyone who stands in his way.
  • Nice to the Waiter: John is still cordial to all who supply him.
  • No Name Given: John hasn't named his new dog.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: When Santino blows up John's house. It somehow throws John off his feet and through a window without actually injuring him.
  • Noodle Incident: Santino somehow aided John in completing the Impossible Task that allowed him to retire and marry Helen. It was apparently big enough that John sealed a Marker over it.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Violin Woman. She at first seems like one of the many random assassins out to kill John, but she's the only one to actually hurt him; shooting him in the gut. That wound nearly kills John and slows him down considerably during his fight with Cassian. It's so bad he has to seek shelter at the Bowery King's.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • After burying all his equipment in hopes to never get back to work again, John still finds himself staring at a new starter pack of guns and coins after a jackass blows up his home and forces an assignment on him. John can't help but suddenly scream at the top of his lungs.
    • It's subtle but, this applies during the end scene where Winston displays just how much influence he really has, then calls in John's now-doubled bounty while fully barring him from all underworld resources. John ramps up from a walk to, to a walk with increasingly paranoid glances at everyone, to a full on sprint. It's one of the few moments of genuine concern from John.
  • Obfuscating Disability: One of the Bowery King's operatives spends his days pretending to be a mentally ill homeless man ranting and raving about government conspiracies. He immediately drops the act and coolly kills two assassins when offered a coin by John and gets back into character just as quickly once the deed is done.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Abram's continually shocked expression gets cut back to a few times, as John kills everyone after him in Abram's shop. Since the shop's a warehouse, Abram can hear everything from inside his office.
    • John Wick gets one when the contract on him has went international and the movie closes with John making a run for it.
    • Cassian has a subtle one when he sees John at the party and it hits him who the Boogeyman was after.
  • One Last Job: The premise this time, with Wick forced to square away his debts with a villainous old associate if he wants to leave the world of assassins once more.
  • One-Man Army: Lampshaded by Wick, who kills dozens of criminals and trained assassins over the movie.
    Wick: Do you want a war? Or do you just want to give me a gun?
  • The Pen Is Mightier: John kills two of the assassins following him with a fucking pencil. Its a drawn out, ugly, brutal sequence.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Charon the concierge helps look after John Wick's dog when the latter has to go on assignment.
    • When John is excommunicated for murdering the head of a crime family on neutral ground, Winston gives John a one hour head start instead of killing him outright; the way he did with Ms. Perkins in the first movie.
    • When John confronts her, Gianna shows general interest in Helen and is sorry that she's dead. And John isn't happy about having to kill her, even holding her hand before she dies.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • As with the first movie, John's cop friend Jimmy shows up to investigate a 'disturbance' at his house (namely the whole place being burned to a crisp by Santino), takes his explanation at face value (gas leak), and is smart enough not to investigate further.
    • It starts getting ridiculous when John engages in a series of knife and gun fights in very crowded, public areas of Rome and New York City (including the New York MTA) with no cops or security guards visible anywhere. According to the director, the police and the assassins have a truce, where the police do not interfere with assassin work as long as they keep it quiet and only hurt each other and criminals.
  • Precious Photo: John has a number of photos of his late wife in his house. They are all destroyed when Santino sets the place on fire.
  • Product Placement: The firearms that John Wick receives from The Sommelier were all supplied and/or customized by Taran Tactical Innovations.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: John and Cassian both have massive respect for each other and could almost be considered friends when they're not "working." However, the circumstances of the film force them to be at odds.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: John finally gets his car back, but it gets utterly wrecked, and won't be drivable again for months. He redeems the Marker, but in the process he loses his house and his phone, and with them every single item he had to remember Helen by. He kills the man who put a price on his head, but in the process gets a bigger price put on his head by the man's associates, and by killing Santino in the Continental's lounge, he loses all access to the Continental's extensive support network. The only thing he doesn't lose over the course of the film is the dog.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Arguably the series of assassins John fights when he returns to New York, with each one showing a variety of skills and gimmicks, while also providing more of a fight for John than a regular mook.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Played with. As badass as John Wick is, tight spaces and bad guys with automatic weapons means he's going to get shot. A lot. He's saved by his bulletproof suit, although heavily bruised by it. And of course he's not the only one with a bulletproof suit.
    • Following this, no matter how skilled he is - John is still human and eventually the damage does catch up with him. This hits hardest during his return to New York when one of the many assassins out for his bounty manages to nail him with a gut wound, a wound which impairs him until he manages to get safe passage to The Bowery King. Consider that as noted in the Immediate Sequel entry, he still hasn't fully recovered from the first film either.
    • Not wearing a seatbelt and getting into a car crash will throw you around.
    • Killing people with a pencil seems tame compared to other movie heroes but we see how messy and hard it realistically is. It almost makes you wonder why John didn't use his hands.
    • Aurelio says he can fix John's totalled car, but it will take months, maybe years.
    • Much like Perkins in the first movie, Ares is lithe, swift, and skilled... but that doesn't mean too much when someone who outweighs you by a hundred pounds (and is capable of both taking and dishing out more damage) gets his hands on you in close quarters. Valiant effort though it is, her fight with John is over pretty quick.
    • In the end, the film shows just how wretched life really is for an assassin. You either die getting assassinated or burn the rest of your life fighting off other assassins.
  • Red Herring: After the prologue, once-again-retired John puts a lot of work into burying his weapons, clothes, and money and covering his stash with concrete. The audience knows that he's just going to have to unearth it again, but he never did.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Santino commissioned the murder of his sister and then put a Contract on the Hitman, claiming it's because he can't allow his sister's murder to go unavenged.
  • Refusal of the Call: John Wick initially tries to refuse Santino calling in his Marker, but it doesn't take. Especially because Santino blows up John's house, requiring John to respond no matter what.
  • The Reveal: Blink and you'll miss it, but right as Winston is telling John he's being excommunicated for killing on Continental grounds, he hands John a Marker. This is probably the reason John gets an hour for a head start, a courtesy not generally extended under the circumstances.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Multiple viewings will help one better map out the logistics and maze-like codes of conduct of the assassin world. All the weapons-grade religious symbolism in the film is also better observed in multiple viewings.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Besides all the religious symbolism, there's a curious use of mirrors in the movie. Self-reflection and self-image are running themes across the film, and several characters are glimpsed through mirrors at some point or another. Most evidently, John Wick confronts both D'antonnio siblings across mirrors.
    • The first film had a Color Motif; blue represented John, gold represented peace and getting out of the business, and red represented getting back into the life. The first movie's poster was blue. Now, take a look at this movie's.
  • Rule of Three: Ares taunts John (via sign language) with him mostly ignoring it. The third time she's dying and he leans in and coldly shoots down her comment.
  • Sacred Hospitality: The primary rule of the Continental, that no business (killing) be done on their property. It's invoked in Rome when Cassian and John's fight literally smashes through the front door of that hotel, and it's abused when Santino comes running for safety when John wades through Santino's entire bodyguard. John violates it by shooting Santino, which leaves John excommunicated from the Continental's protection.
  • Schizo Tech: Even though the movie is set in the present day, the assassin subculture uses technologies from very dissimilar time periods.
    • Aside from two smartphones prominently being used, the rest are pre-2007 flipphones and bricks, possibly due to being burners.
    • The record of the Markers are kept in written ledgers.
    • Accounts Payable uses very 50s-esque switchboards and a computer circa The '70s.
    • Their weapons however, are all the latest cutting edge technology, including the bulletproof lining of John's suits.
    • But the Bowery King takes the cake by using messenger pigeons to carry cellphone SIM cards for communication.
    • All Justified however in the context of a shadowy, underground organization which is both tradition-bound and understandably obsessed with security.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Self-explanatory. Just look at the page image.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • The first film primarily deals with John Wick fighting the local Russian mob in New York. The second movie pits him against a international guild of master Assassins. The fight choreography and body count also rise drastically.
    • In the last film, we were introduced to the Continental and the criminal underworld's currency of golden Coins. In this film, we not only see new Coins entering circulation, but that the Continental is a 'franchised' chain of establishments, and there are also Markers which are considered sacrosanct when struck. The head of all of this is "the High Table", an international body of crime lords, though they do not directly hold influence over the Continental hotels, as that would interfere with the concept of neutrality.
    • The bounty Viggo put on John in the previous movie was $2 million, with $4 million being enough to tempt Perkins to break Continental rules. This time around right of the bat Santino puts a $7 million bounty on John, and by the end of the movie it has been doubled to 14. And gone international.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Partially. For the middle act, the setting moves from New York City to Rome before heading back to New York for the ending.
  • Sequel Hook: After killing two heads of a criminal network, one on neutral ground, John is excommunicated from the criminal world, deprived of all its privileges, and must now go on the run with no resources, no allies, and millions of assassins on his trail. The only things he has left are his dog and his suit.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Justified, as John makes use of a Benelli M4 while fighting in very close quarters, to terrifying effect.
  • Shoo the Dog: Quite literally. John leaves the dog he saved in the first movie with Charon, the hotel concierge while he goes to Rome.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sissy Villain: Downplayed, but in terms of build, general appearance, mannerisms, and actions Santino is decidedly less masculine than John.
  • Smug Snake: Santino believes he's a Magnificent Bastard but given the questionable mistakes he has made it makes you wonder how he has managed to stay in power as long as he has. Though it does explain why he wasn't the heir.
  • Soft Glass: A couple of times, once when John's house gets blown up and once in the final fight at the art gallery.
  • Source Music: Just like the Red Club music in the first movie, the music for the Rome party fight (John Wick Mode) seems to be actually playing in-universe, with the backstage scenes having the soundtrack muffled before going in full force as John moves on stage.
  • The Speechless: Ares, Santino's main bodyguard, is mute and only communicates via sign language.
    • There is also the seamstress at the Tailor's sweatshop with the Thousand-Yard Stare, who is as scary as her unnerving demeanor indicates.
  • Staircase Tumble: A comically long one happens to John and Cassian in their first fight.
  • Starter Villain: Abram and his goons, who Wick takes his car back from.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Abram's number two suggests simply giving John his car back. Abram discounts the idea because he doesn't think John would be satisfied with just that. Turns out, John actually is.
  • Subverted Trope: The entire opening scene sets up a film in which John has to fight Abram Viggo's similar looking brother, who wants revenge for his brother and nephew, so John will have fight the Russian mafia and kill its leader, very much like the first film. The scene ends abruptly with John offering Abram a truce, Abram realizes it would be stupid not to accept it, and John departs peacefully.
  • Suicide Mission: John is tasked with killing the head of a major crime syndicate. The mission in itself is dangerous enough, but the repercussions are deadlier.
  • The Syndicate: The High Table, apparently a global committee of mob bosses representing each - Italian Mafia, for example - known faction. Even the Continental has to respect their wishes from time to time (although Winston does wave off some of Santino's more foolish requests).
  • Tag Line: "Never stab the devil in the back". In the film, Winston tells Santino he's foolishly done just that by destroying John's home and setting a contract on him.
  • Take That!: The Super Bowl TV spot parodies Fifty Shades Darker.
  • Tattooed Crook: Just about everyone. Not a single main or secondary character in this movie is a law-abiding citizen, and most of them are covered in lots and lots of gang tattoos. Even the underworld telephone dispatchers and record keepers all sport tats - down to the old lady who handles transmitting assassination contracts.
  • Throw-Away Guns: In the final gunfight John has a very limited amount of ammunition, so he keeps dropping empty guns and taking new weapons off his kills. At one point he even throws an empty gun into an opponent's face to disorient him for long enough so that Wick can close in and kill him in hand to hand combat.
  • Tragic Keepsake: It wasn't just the dog after all. John's prized car was also a gift from his late wife. He then loses all photos of her when his house is blown up and his phone also breaks later. By the end, all John can salvage is a charm bracelet that belonged to her.
  • Truce Zone: The Continental (which forbids bloodshed on its grounds) is brought back from the first film and given an expanded role with branches all over the world. Cassian and John crash through the window of the Rome hotel and have to cease their fight to the death per the hotel's rules. Much later Santino exploits the rules by essentially promising to simply stay at the hotel to save himself but John shoots him anyway.
  • Unorthodox Reload: At one point Wick's shotgun runs out of ammo so he has to pin a Mook down with the barrel while loading a new shell into it before splattering the Mook at point-blank range.
    • During his fight with Cassian, John runs out of ammo in his pistol while his other arm is being locked by Cassian. John does a one-handed reload by chucking the empty clip and holding a new one behind his knee. He then holds the pistol behind his knee so he can chamber a round.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The criminal society in the movie is full of unique euphemisms for their activities.
    • The High Table is the 12 member council of criminal lords that controls all the world's assassins.
    • Accounts Payable is the branch of the Continental that records and issues the bounties.
    • Markers are favors that must be repaid no matter the circumstance. Refusing to redeem a Marker (or trying to harm someone who holds your Marker) is grounds for being declared Excommunicado, at a minimum.
    • The Sommelier is the guy in charge of the Continental's armory. He has a variety of euphemisms that refer to various types of weapons that he sells. He's also an actual sommelier.
    • Excommunicado means that an assassin is officially expelled from the assassins' underworld, being unable to draw on the resources or establishments that cater to the Continental network.
  • We Are Everywhere: A great deal of the New York City population are assassins apparently. In the final scene, Winston shows just how true that is by having everyone near the fountain in Central Park stop at his command. John is clearly unnerved after that.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Winston, shocked, asks John Wick what he's done after Wick breaks one of the sacred rules of the Continental and kills Santiano.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: After beating several Mooks in hand-to-hand combat, John is tackled and slammed by a Giant Mook so he decides to just shoot out his ankles.
  • World Building: Fitting the Sequel Escalation, this is greatly expanded upon as there are other Continentals in other major cities and even an entire society of info brokers, gun smiths, mechanics, and even haberdasheries.
  • World of Symbolism: John Wick: Chapter 2 is chock-full of symbolism in every scene, usually relating to classical mythology and religion, befitting the movie's concept of this shadowy underworld of assassins being quasi-mythical in how grandiose it is. For example, almost every time Winston talks with someone he's shadowed by a religious symbol (a huge gothic cathedral in his first talk with Wick, a giant statue of Kali in his talk with Santino, and the statue of an angel in his final talk with Wick) which all bear thematic significance to the plot in some way. Other instances include Santino's HQ being a museum full of statues representing Greek deities and the Bowery King's lair being littered with Catholic symbols. The Bowery King even calls John's final attack a descent into Hell. Catching all the references is almost a form of Rewatch Bonus.
  • Worthy Opponent: Cassian not only put up more of a fight against John in both encounters but he's the only assassin that John spared, out of genuine respect and friendship for the fellow killer.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Santino tries to have John killed within minutes of him completing his task.
  • You Owe Me: The Markers are a method of keeping track of debts owed between people in the underworld, and refusing to repay said debts when asked to is explicitly not an option.

"Be seeing you, John."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/JohnWickChapter2