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Film / John Wick: Chapter 2

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All spoilers for John Wick will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
Santino: This is your blood. You came to me. I helped you. If you don't do this, you know the consequences.
John: I'm not that guy anymore.
Santino: You are always that guy, John.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is the 2017 sequel to John Wick and the second film in the John Wick franchise. It was directed by Chad Stahelski from a screenplay by franchise creator Derek Kolstad, and was released on February 10, 2017.

Almost immediately following the events of the first film, legendary hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back out of retirement by Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), 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.

The film also stars Common as Cassian, Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, Ruby Rose as Ares, Lance Reddick as Charon, Peter Stormare as Abram Tarasov, Bridget Moynahan as Helen Wick, Franco Nero as Julius, John Leguizamo as Aurelio and Ian McShane as Winston Scott.

As with the first film, PAYDAY 2 got some new Wick-related content shortly before the film's release; the "John Wick Heists" pack, One heist features you on a rescue mission to get Charon out of Brooklyn after being ambushed by some local thugs, with the other heist set on a yacht Charon gives you information on to help find stacks of money onboard.

Its story is followed by John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.

John Wick: Chapter 2 contains examples of:

  • Ace Custom: John procures 4 highly-customized firearms (a Glock 34 9mm pistol, a Glock 26 9mm pistol, an AR-15 platform rifle in 5.56x45mm and a Benelli M4 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun) 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 discard them eventually when they all run dry (except for the Glock 26 backup, which he likely returns to the Sommelier once the job is done and he departs for New York), and resorts to using standard guns later on 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 doubled than the first movie. The first film was also a slow burn, seeming more like a crime melodrama until about 45 minutes in when John eliminates the killers sent to his house. This film opens with a Mook Horror Show with John off to recover his car.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • 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.
  • Always on Duty: Twice. In the Rome branch of the Continental, John asks if the sommelier is on duty and is told "I have never known him not to be"; then when Santino takes refuge in the Continental at the end of the movie he asks if the manager is in, to which Charon replies that the manager is always in.
  • Anachronism Stew: The administration office for the ultra-high-tech assassin organization is all paper records, typewriters, and ancient green-text computers with employees wearing uniforms to match the era of their tech. Said employees are also covered in visible tattoos and facial piercings that even most modern employers wouldn't allow.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Where the first film had bystanders respond appropriately to extreme violence in their midst, this film launches the tradition of John Wick operating in a mystical underworld where only the most egregious violence breaks The Masquerade.
    • 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 All Part of the Show. However, people do start to panic when John then 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 and 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.
    • John enters a subway station a few paces away from two bloody corpses, his own face covered in blood, and no one seems to notice. Once he and Cassian start knife-fighting in the subway, the other passengers just watch them rather than flee to another car, though they do exit the train the moment the doors open.
  • Apologetic Attacker: John's conversation with Gianna is quiet and cordial, as it's clear he wants nothing to do with what's happening, though he intends to go through with it.
  • The Armorer: The Sommelier (for guns) and the Italian Tailor (for John Wick's suit: Italian, two buttons, tapered trousers...and the tactical lining) both function as this.
  • Arms Dealer: The Sommelier's job is to hook assassins up with a wide assortment of guns best suited to the kill they're carrying out.
  • Artistic License – Physics: John takes enough force from what is presumably a high explosive grenade to be blown clear of home. While survival isn't likely to begin with, John isn't even slightly injured from this.
  • Asshole Victim: Santino had it coming for ordering the death of his sister and forcing John back into the life that he just left by blowing up his entire house and put a hit out on him once the job is finished.
  • Assassins Are Always Betrayed: Wick is not surprised to find Ares waiting in ambush on his escape route. Ironically Santino justifies his actions as avenging the sister he coerced Wick into killing (as opposed to ensuring that Wick doesn't come after him in revenge for making him kill her).
    Wick: Cleaning up loose ends?
    Ares: [signing, using her middle finger] Just one.
  • As You Know: When John goes to Winston for counsel, Winston reminds him of the two main rules of the underground, mainly for the audience's benefit more than John (who surely knows this): no business on Continental grounds, and every Marker must be honored. Disobeying either brings dire consequences. More or less Justified considering Wick is in denial and searching for literally any way out of his marker. Winston’s explanation serves to both tell John that the rules are non-negotiable and inform the audience about the markers.
  • Awesomeness Is a Force: The second Santino spots John at the museum, everyone draws away from John and the orchestra stops playing while he simply stands there.
  • Badass Boast: At the end, right before the manhunt for his head begins, John vows to kill anyone who comes after him.
    John: Winston, tell them. Whoever comes, whoever it is, I'll kill them. I'll kill them all.
    Winston: [smiles wryly] 'Course you will.
  • 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The film opens with an aerial shot coming down to the streets of NYC with the sounds of a car chase. Subverted when we see a Buster Keaton movie being projected on the side of a building, explaining the sounds. Then double-subverted when John comes flying on-screen chasing a man on a motorcycle.
  • 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.
    • After Santino completes the Marker, Winston lays this trope retroactively into him, saying that forcing John back into the life, including burning down his home, was probably an unwise way to go about getting the High Table now that a revengeful John Wick had his eyes on Santino.
  • Beat: There are many throughout the movie, but special note has to go to the long pause Charon takes before informing John that Santino is waiting for him in the lounge. He knows what John is going to do and doesn't want him to do it, but his professionalism demands he provide a member the requested information.
  • Behind the Black: Mooks have a habit of running into frame only a few paces away from Wick, as if they can't see or shoot at him until they're visible to the camera.
  • 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, saying that she's lived by her own terms and will die the same way. John still shoots her in the head the moment she passes out.
  • Beyond the Impossible: John fights a sumo wrestler in a nice suit and shoots him in the head; the man doesn't die until John puts a second bullet in his head. This is actually almost realistic; the first bullet went front and center in his skull and thus could have missed the brain, but caused damage.
  • 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, Santino later proves treacherous and becomes the Big Bad.
    • It seems to run in the family. While the film clearly tries to present Gianna as a sympathetic figure, brought down by her brother's ambition, one of the first things she does is smugly admit to expanding her territory by threatening to kill her rivals' children. She also spends most of her conversation with John trying to make him feel guilty about killing her, despite knowing a marker's in play (and thus John has no choice), and even drags John's deceased wife into it for little reason other than to rub salt in his wounds.
  • 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.
  • Bodyguard Crush: It's never explicit, but there's a strong hint of a relationship between Gianna and Cassian with her whispering "What would I do without you, Cassian?" before John shows up and Cassian relentlessly hunting John for revenge afterward (despite no one paying him to do so).
  • 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.
  • Booked Full of Mooks: After John Wick breaks the Continental's rules and is about to be declared excommunicado, he meets Winston at the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in New York's Central Park. On Winston's cue, everyone in the busy public throughfare stops, turns towards them, and continues on, before Winston grants John a Mercy Lead.
  • Boom, Headshot!: While already something of a Signature Move for Wick, as the trailer shows, things ramp up even more.
  • Brick Joke: In the Action Prologue, the Noodle Incident where John is said to having killed three men with a pencil is brought up by Abram Tarasov, and one henchman expresses doubts about its plausibility. In a fight during the second half of the movie, John proves that, yes, you can kill someone with a pencil.
  • Bulletproof Vest: The world features 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. John isn't the only one to wear the suits.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Santino thinks it's a good idea to bully the world's most dangerous assassin into accepting his mission, going so far as to burn down his house for refusing to honor the Marker (though, as Winston notes, that was practically mercy by the standards of the Table). On seeing Wick's Death Glare when they meet up again, Santino says that's the Wick he was after, and even contemplates what method Wick would use to kill him if he dared.
      Wick: My hands.
    • Not content with that level of arrogance, Santino then tries to have Wick killed to eliminate "loose ends", even though Wick honored his end of the deal. This after Wick had already killed off the entire Russian mob of New York a few days ago and Santino specifically hired him because he's damn near unkillable.
  • 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 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. Later on we see that Abram is neither lying nor exaggerating because we actually see John kill two assassins with a pencil.
    • 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.
    • 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.(The Continental, like other hotels, obviously has in-house dry cleaning; it's just John's clothes were too far gone. No one can get out that much blood and New York schmutz.)
    • 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 the rules say, no business on Continental grounds...
    • Like Marcus, Gianna chooses to go out her own way, slitting her wrists rather than letting/forcing John to kill her. He still gives her a Coup de Grâce.
    • The ending has John jog with his pitbull along the river. The context, though, is much more sinister.
    • The second time John fights Cassian, he leaves him on the subway with a knife in his aorta, telling him not to pull it out or he'll bleed out. We later learn he did something similar to the Bowery King: he cut his throat, and told him he could either pursue and die, or hold the wound closed and live. Both men chose to live.
  • Camera Abuse: When John's shooting his way through the museum, blood spatter from one of the bodyguards hits the left of the lens.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: As John enters the art gallery to meet Santino, there's a homeless man outside who looks a lot like the Bowery King's contact. Carrier pigeons — the Bowery King's signature — are also visible throughout the scenes in New York.
  • 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.
  • Competing with a Corpse: Implied with Gianna D'Antonio, who speaks to John in tones almost like a pining ex-lover when he arrives to assassinate her, and asks for the name of "this woman whose life has ended my own" in reference to John's deceased wife Helen (the theft and/or destruction of keepsakes from her having started this whole mess).
  • 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, Camorra, and other ethnic criminal outfits.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The Marker's Blood Oath is sealed with a bloody thumbprint pressed against one half of an interior compartment. There's even a short spike on top to prick thy thumb. The holder of the Marker adds his thumbprint on the other half once the contract has been fulfilled, showing the Marker is void. The holder then marks it again in a ledger maintained by the Continental so there's an independent record.
  • Coup de Grâce: After she slits her own wrists, Wick holds Gianna's hand as she dies. But once she's unconscious, he puts a bullet in her head so she can't be revived, or so she won't have died by suicide — a mortal sin.
  • Crapsack World: By the end of the movie, it is made clear to the audience just how much power The Continental, a shadowy assassin's guild, and The High Table, a nebulous collection of some of the world's most ruthless criminal enterprises, no doubt, have over the John Wick universe. Winston's casual demonstration of his own power and resources at the very end of the film is particularly unnerving, and makes you wonder at the sheer level of power contract killers and gangsters in this world wield, especially when paired with the implications from the first film that the police more or less just turn a blind eye to these things.
  • 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.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The DJ in the Rome party fight is played by Le Castle Vania, composer of the music in both that scene and the Red Circle fight from the first film. The guitarist on the stage with him is Tyler Bates, the franchise's composer.
    • Angelo the Tailor is played by Luca Mosca, the film's costume designer.
  • Creepy Crosses: Bowery King's lair is brimming with Gothic-ish crosses.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: As per the religious symbolism and the fact that this takes place in Rome, Gianna dies in this position.
  • 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 damn fault.
    • Averted in the Action Prologue. Despite Wick killing his brother in the previous movie, the Russian crime boss is smart enough to accept his peace offering.
  • 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.
      John Wick: I'd like a tasting. (I want to see guns you have available)
      Sommelier: I know of your past fondness for the German varietals, but I can wholeheartedly endorse the new breed of Austrians. (I know you favor German handguns for your work, but I think these custom Austrian-made Glocks will work well for you)
      John Wick: I need something robust, precise. (I need a rifle that will work well in close quarters but has the range and punch for longer distances too)
      John Wick: Could you recommend anything for the end of the night? Something big, bold. (What can you recommend for the remaining assailants after I've fought my way out?)
      John Wick: Dessert? (What knives do you have for close quarters?)
      Sommelier: Mr. Wick? Do enjoy your "party". (Good luck on your job)
    • The tailor asks if Wick's new suit is for a "formal event" or a "social affair," his way of asking "Will this be a stealth job, or do you plan on engaging multiple targets?" Wick answers "social," anticipating the need to take out bodyguards. He follows it up with asking if the suit is for day or evening (does John need a lighter colored suit for daytime use or a darker colored suit for night time, making it easier to blend in and be harder to see).
    • Even his suit fitting has double meaning.
      Angelo: In what style?
      John Wick: Italian. (slimmer fitting suits made for athletic builds, perfect for someone who needs to move around a lot)

      Angelo: How many buttons?
      John Wick: Two. (allows for faster drawing of his gun)

      Angelo: Trousers?
      John Wick: Tapered. (Allows for a roomier fit around the thighs, good if there's a lot of running or having to hold somebody)

      Angelo: How about the lining?
      John Wick: Tactical. (A bulletproof lining ensures if he takes fire, it won't be fatal)

    • After John carries out his job, he runs into Cassian, who asks if John's working.
      Cassian: Good night? (Have you killed your target?)
      John: Afraid so.
      Cassian: I'm sorry to hear that.
      [both men immediately draw their guns and open fire on each other]
    • Also notable is the complete lack of this when dealing with the Bowery King. John and the King are straightforward with each other and don't use any euphemisms, showing how the latter sits somewhat outside of the elegant and finely-attired criminal and assassin culture.
  • Death Glare: Ares delivers a brutal, if impotent one to John after he fatally stabs her.
  • Defiant Strip: Combined with Better to Die than Be Killed. When she realizes John is here to assassinate her, Gianna D'Antonio accepts her fate, removes her dress in front of him and steps into a bath, where she proceeds to slit her own wrists so she can die on her own terms.
  • 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.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Winston calls out John's naivete in thinking Santino would never come calling for John to uphold their marker; even though he abhors Santino plenty, Winston bluntly tells John the latter is blood-bound to fulfill that obligation. (Santino says he would have stayed away had John stayed retired, but he also doesn't want to hear that what happened in the previous film wasn't business.)
  • 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.
    • Earl seems to command a similar position amongst the Bowery King's forces often directing them and taking orders from the king himself.
  • The Dreaded: As before, people react with fear when they hear Wick's legendary name. Julius asks in a worried tone if John has come to Rome to kill the Pope, no doubt rightly concerned that John could successfully do so.
  • 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 and wide tumbler, while Cassian's is gin on the rocks in a high highball 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.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The exterior shot of the New York art museum as John walks towards it has the Empire State Building prominently placed in the background. This shot was in fact filmed in Rome, with the Empire State added in during post-production to better convince the viewer of its intended location.
  • 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 Ares 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 Cannot Comprehend Good: When Winston is explaining to Santino midway through the film how completely, self-inflictedly screwed he is, he has to spell out to him what the more laconic John tried to tell him when Santino came to his house: his Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the previous film wasn't about John returning to the Professional Killer business, it was about the dog Iosef Tarasov killed and the car he stole being keepsakes from his recently dead wife. John desperately didn't want to return to killing full-time, and now that Santino has forced him to do so with the marker, then added insult to injury by pulling You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, there is no power on Earth or under it that will keep Baba Yaga from putting a bullet in his head.
  • 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.note 
  • Fantastic Caste System: This chapter ups the stakes of the Underworld by introducing both the High Table (those in charge) and the Bowery King (who exists independent of and beneath the Continentals, running an army of homeless spies and assassins). The former demands all respect, the latter wishes he could.
  • 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.
  • Fan Disservice: A beautiful woman slips off her dress and wades into the bath so she can slit her wrists because it's Better to Die than Be Killed.
  • Flipping the Bird: Ares uses a non-standard finger when giving the sign-language for "one".
  • 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.
    • In his first scene, the Bowery King tells a story of the night he first met John Wick, which ended with John slashing his neck and leaving him the choice of whether to pull his gun and try to shoot John in the back, or keep pressure on the wound and survive. In the next scene, John makes a deliberate Call-Back to this story, noting that the Bowery King now has a similar choice: he can either betray John for an immediate benefit (Santino's $7 million dollar bounty) or stay his hand to let John deal with a longer-term problem (Santino's eventual ambitions for New York). As he did years ago, the Bowery King chooses the forward-thinking option.
    • Likewise, when the Bowery King gives John a gun, the case initially has two magazines of seven bullets each. He hands one to his lieutenant and gives the other to John, saying $7 million only buys him seven rounds. By the end of the movie, John's bounty will be up to $14 million, which could have gotten him the second magazine.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The armorer visited by Wick is wearing a weird-looking badge. Close inspection reveals this to actually be a Bandenkampfabzeichen, a real medal which was given by the Wehrmacht to German soldiers who participated in anti-partisan operations. However, the design is chilling enough to look like something invented by Lord Voldemort.
    • If one takes a closer look at John's hand when he asks for Santino's whereabouts from Charon inside the Continental, he always keeps his finger on the trigger, which means that he is determined to kill Santino later, against anybody's demands to stop him from doing so.
  • Friendly Shopkeeper: The Sommelier and the house tailor at the Italian branch of The Continental are delighted to see and serve John. Both perform their duties with gusto, cheerfully recommending their best wares to him while taking into account his personal preferences. John even takes the time to match the Sommelier's preference for Deadly Euphemisms, which has the latter grinning.
  • Friendship Moment: Although the New York Continental doesn't provide boarding for pets, Charon is happy to offer the service himself as a personal favor to John.
  • Funny Background Event: During John and Cassian's conversation at the Continental bar, Ares can be seen taking a seat on the 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, by staying there indefinitely 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.
  • Groin Attack: One of the assassins attacking John in the subway gets stabbed in the groin.
  • 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. He even gets blown out of his home by high-explosive grenades without so much as a Career-Ending Injury. Much of the damage he takes through the course of the film is also Just a Flesh Wound.
  • 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 personally.
  • 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.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: John is meeting Winston in Central Park, when at his command every single bystander turns to face them. Winston however gives him an hour's Mercy Lead.
    Wick: Then why am I not dead?
    Winston: Because I deemed it not to be.
  • 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.
  • Improbable Weapon User: John, as usual, but in a nice Call-Back kills two men with a single pencil.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Santino uses a marker to force John to kill his sister Gianna so Santino can take her seat at the High Table, then puts a Contract on the Hitman, with the justification that his manhood demands he kill the man who killed his sister.
  • 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 through his aorta and makes an explanation of what happens should he attempt Lodged-Blade Recycling. A third tier happens later when John meets the Bowery King, who explains that John once cut his throat and told him he could pursue John and die, or hold the wound closed long enough to get medical attention and live, i.e. what he just did to Cassian.
  • Irony: In a deleted scene, Santino is seen in the aftermath of a shootout at a club. When Winston chides him, remarking that they have rules for a reason, Santino replies that "rules are made to be broken". John kills him when he decides he'd rather break the Continental rules than let Santino live.
  • 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.
  • Just Giving Orders: John Wick is coerced by Santino D'Antonio to assassinate his sister Gianna so he can take over her seat at the High Table. Unsurprisingly, Wick himself subsequently becomes a target not only for Gianna's people but Santino's as well, who actually has the gall to claim to be doing it in his sister's honor.
  • Kevlard: Among the assassins who try to collect on Wick's bounty, there is a guy played by sumo wrestler Yamamotoyama Ryūta who takes a lot more punishment than his skinnier compatriots, absorbing a lot of blows and bullets before Wick manages to put a bullet between his eyes.
  • 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 previous 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 played by sumo wrestle Yamamotoyama Ryūta, with all the weight that implies. He throws John around. Repeatedly.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Abram repeats the story of John Wick killing three men with a pencil, and comments on the improbability of it: "With a fucking pencil! Who the fuck can do that?"
  • Large Ham: The Bowery King, full stop, in deliberate contrast to Winston's more understated presence.
    Bowery King: 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.
  • Look Both Ways: Cassian ambushes John on the streets by ramming him with a car. John survives this even though he is physically pained, thanks to his suit.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Santino can't kill his own blood, but has no problem forcing Wick to do so on his behalf.
    • Wick can't just kill Santino while he holds the Marker, but there's nothing to stop him doing so after the debt is paid. This is likely the real reason Santino tries to have him killed, as John had made his displeasure clear when Santino forced him to take the job by blowing up his house.
    • 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 Neapolitan 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.
  • Magic Realism: Whereas the first film had the crowd at the Red Circle responding appropriately to a massive gun battle in their midst, this one turns a fight between assassins into an Unusually Uninteresting Sight where the ordinary people of New York and Rome go about their business without seeming to notice the violence.
  • Male Gaze: We get a shot of Ares drawing a sinister-looking push dagger... which just so happens to be in the back pocket of her rather tight-fitting pants.
  • 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.
  • Mickey Mousing: The movie opens on the sound of a high-performance car engine growling over a Buster Keaton silent comedy projected onto a building. When the comedian goes crashing through a window, there's a simultaneous loud impact sound despite it being a silent movie. The camera then pans down to reveal a motorcyclist has crashed while being chased by John Wick driving his Chevelle SS Aurelio.
  • 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, neither of which end up working in his favor: either he rejects the Marker and faces the wrath of Santino, who has the obligation to retaliate for not fulfilling it, 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. John goes through with the mission and ends up facing both negative outcomes when Santino orders John to be killed after he fulfills 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.
  • Neck Snap: How John kills the Violin Woman.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: John breaks the rules of the Continental and shoots Santino in the head. Now the whole world of assassins 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 even 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 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 Insanity: 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. He then runs straight to Gianna's chamber while commanding the other bodyguards to go after John.
    Cassian: John?
    John: Cassian
    Cassian: [Beat] You working?
    John: Looks that way.
    Cassian: Good night?
    John: Afraid so.
  • 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?
  • Painting the Medium: The gunshot when John kills Santino on Continental grounds is the single loudest gunshot in the entire series, meant to startle the viewer and drive home the point how badly John screwed up.
  • Parody: To promote this film, there is an officially-sponsored trailer titled "Dog Wick" which is essentially a What If? scenario where John and his dog swapped fates from the first movie.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: John kills two of the assassins following him with a fucking pencil. Its a drawn out, ugly, brutal sequence.
  • Pervy Patdown: Ares cops a feel on John's butt (and crotch) while giving him a patdown.
  • 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 Catch: Do not try this when your opponent is holding a push dagger. between their knuckles, as Ares unfortunately finds out.
  • 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 Has No Soundtrack: The fight scene between John and Cassian is completely devoid of any background music, unlike most fight scenes of the franchise. It focuses more emphasis on the sounds of gunshot and close-quarters combat that goes along for 3 minutes straight.
  • 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.
    • Also, Viggo's brother appears and most of the audience assumes that he's going to be a villain in this film at the beginning, only to make a truce with John and let him get his 1969 Mustang back.
    • When John returns to his assassin career, Santino contemplates on how John would kill him if he dared. John replies with "[his] hands". But near the finale, John kills Santino with a gun instead.
  • 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.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Look closely at some early scenes in the film as John walks around the city; there will be several homeless men who all look very similar to one-another. We find out later that The Bowery King is keeping tabs on everything, and likely knew of John's activities before John sought him out.
  • 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'Antonio siblings across mirrors.
  • Rule of Three: Ares taunts John (via sign language) with him mostly ignoring it. The third time Ares does it, 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 flip phones and brick phones, possibly due to being burners.
    • The record of the Markers are kept in written ledgers.
    • Accounts Payable uses very 50s-esque switchboards, a pneumatic tube delivery system, and a computer circa The '70s with a Commodore 64 as the keyboard.
    • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Santino, clearly scared out of his mind with John coming after him, tries to pull this with Winston after ascending to the High Table, asking Winston to revoke John's privileges. Even when Santino implies he'll have Winston's ownership revoked, Winston merely scoffs at the threat.
    Santino: I want his membership revoked, now.
    Winston: In the eyes of this institution, Mr. Wick has breached no legalities.
    Santino: Then you know that I have the right to demand—
    Winston: Nothing, you demand nothing of me, Mr. D'Antonio, this kingdom is mine and mine alone.
    Santino: All right. Then enjoy your kingdom, Winston, while you still can.
    Winston: [passive-aggressively] And you its privileges, sir.
  • Screw the Rules, They're Not Real!: Santino doesn't survive to learn that a Truce Zone won't protect you from somebody too furious with you to care about it.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Self-explanatory like the first film's poster. 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 an 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, his suit, and a Marker in his possession.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: John makes use of a Benelli M4 while fighting in very close quarters, to terrifying effect.
    The Sommelier: Custom bolt carrier release and charging handle, textured grips should your hands get...wet. An Italian classic.
  • 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:
  • Shown Their Work: Even moreso than with the first film, they show they know what they're doing with guns. For example, John keeps his finger off the trigger if he doesn't intend to kill someone in that moment. However, for the entirety of each conversation with Gianna and Santino, John keeps his finger on the trigger because they're going to die when he's done talking.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: John has no patience for D'Antonio's gloating as he sits in the Continental's lounge talking about how someone could hole up in the hotel for weeks or years and never get bored of all the different food on their menu. John doesn't even let him finish his sentence before he shoots him in the head.
  • Sissy Villain: Downplayed, but in terms of build, general appearance, mannerisms, and actions Santino is decidedly less masculine than John.
  • Slashed Throat: In the backstory John inflicted this on the Bowery King while pursuing a different target, and told him he could either hold the wound closed and maybe live, or pursue John and bleed out. He chose to live.
  • 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: John and Cassian take a comically long tumble down the Scalinata Dei Borgia in their first fight. Combined with Unnecessary Combat Roll during the museum shoot-out when John throws himself down a staircase then shoots at the man at the top of the stairs.
  • 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.
  • Taking the Fight Outside: John and Cassian's fight takes them crashing into the Continental, a ruthlessly enforced Truce Zone hotel. The manager politely requires them to enjoy a drink at the bar and then complete their altercation somewhere else.
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: While many of the texts sent for John's bounty were presumably denied, this trope goes out to the assassins who actually tried going after John — established as essentially being Death-incarnate in the criminal underworld — with expected results. Special mention goes to the two assassins who John killed with a pencil.
  • 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.
  • Tranquil Fury: Cassian is furious that John killed Gianna and spends the film gunning for him without raising his voice. Likewise, when John goes after Santino, he gets more calm the angrier he gets.
  • Truce Trickery: One of the known rules of the criminal underworld is that the Continental hotel chain is a Truce Zone: "no business may be conducted on Continental grounds." At the climax, mafia boss Santino d'Antonio takes refuge in the Continental after an Assassination Attempt by John, who pursues him to the restaurant. D'Antonio smugly promises to abuse the Continental's rules and continue sending assassins after John... who evidently decides to take d'Antonio with him and shoots him squarely in the forehead, to the shock of the entire establishment.
  • 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 mag 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.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The scene where John and Cassian suddenly shoot at each other after a short "casual" conversation. Both then stand up, revealing that John isn't the only one with a bulletproof suit.
    • John casually shoots Santino in the head in the middle of a sentence, then walks away.
    • John meets Winston at the end of the film when he is officially deemed excommunicado, in what he thinks is a public meeting in Central Park; Winston shows John the kind of shit he's in for when he signals the entire crowd to halt in their tracks, revealing themselves as fellow members of the underground.
  • 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 Santino.
    • Both Gianna and Winston point out that it was John's own short-sightedness that got him into trouble with the Marker in the first place. Gianna also reminds John that it is his actions that will elevate Santino to rule over all of New York's underworld.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Pretty much what Winston tells Santino: not only did Santino drag John back into the business when he was trying to stay retired (burning his house down when he said "no"), he then put out a Contract on the Hitman to "tie off loose ends". If John wasn't going to kill Santino before, he's for damn sure going to kill him now.
  • Worldbuilding: 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. He also deliberately allows Cassian a fight, stepping onto a subway train when he could have just walked away, being on the other side of the tracks.
  • 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.
    Winston: You dishonor the Marker, you die; you kill the holder of the Marker, you die; you run, you die. This is what you agreed to, Jonathan.

♫ You look for me inside the dark
I am the ocean, you are the shark
You hunt me like your last goodbye
Oh, fallen angel of the night... ♫


Video Example(s):


John Wick vs Cassian

While walking through crowds at different levels, John and Cassian shoot at each other with silenced weapons. Absolutely none of the nearby civilians notice or hear anything out of the ordinary, but in real life, the guns would still be very, very audible.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / HollywoodSilencer

Media sources: