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YMMV / John Wick: Chapter 2

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The whole bounty against John could be a part of Santino's one big Thanatos Gambit to lure John into a trap because he knew that John wouldn't stop until he's killed. So him setting himself up to be killed at The Continental was one final middle finger to John since he knows that John will never be at peace. That, or Santino really didn't know when to shut his mouth, being the Smug Snake he is, and thought that John wouldn't violate The Continental rules.
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    • Was Winston giving John a Mercy Lead after breaking Continental rules a sign of his personal respect for the one man in the underworld who's earned special treatment, or just him protecting his own skin since trying to pull an instant excommunication like he did with Perkins on John Wick would most likely just result in John, now with nothing left to lose, simply killing Winston and a lot of his goons? Or both? Or possibly even a continuation of his willingness to bend the rules when it's more personal than business, as he did in the first film? Or some combination of the three?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Justified and deconstructed. Santino goes down with even less of a fight than Iosef, who at least tried to run away when John cornered him. Santino simply sits and monologues until John shoots him. The very, very big catch is that John kills him on Continental grounds, the one place Santino thought John couldn't or wouldn't touch him. Due to breaking the laws of the Continental, John is excommunicated from the criminal underworld and has a bounty of fourteen million dollars placed on his head by the High Table, internationally to boot.
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    • Ares, and deliberately invoked by the director, as mentioned on the DVD commentary: Ares spends most of the movie trying to present herself as an equal to John, only to get regularly dismissed by him, to her annoyance, since she is far more personal and less detached and professional. The only point where he finally shows her any respect is after he fatally wounds her. On the film's commentary track, director Chad Stahelski talks about how after all the formidable physical foes John has faced so far, that it would be unrealistic of someone with Ares/Ruby Rose's light frame and stature to pose a drawn-out challenge; John uses his size advantage to keep her at arm's length and safely from her knife strikes, and uses his strength advantage to eventually overpower her.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The Outro song, "Plastic Heart".
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    • Gianna D'Antonio makes one hell of an entrance at her party, complete with backing from a band.
    • Later in the same scene where John escapes after killing Gianna, we get another fantastic electronic track from Le Castle Vania, aptly titled "John Wick Mode".
    • When John goes after Santino in his museum, the ensuing action scene is accompanied by a track best described as a thumping bass remix of Vivaldi's Storm, titled "Presto Museum Battle".
    • "Battle Royale VIP" by Apashe is heavily featured in one trailer.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Santino forces John Wick into assassinating his sister, then tries to kill John, saying "What kind of man would I be if I didn't avenge my sister's murder?"note 
    • Julius' response to John Wick arriving in the Roman Continental.
      Julius: You're not here to kill the Pope, are you?
      • And only when Wick replies no does Julius relax and welcome him to the hotel.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The random collection of assassins that go after John. Some of them are just mooks that John kills in passing, but there's also the memorable ones, such as the unbelievably tough sumo assassin, the violinist, and the pair in the bar that serve to demonstrate John's writing skills.
    • The Bowery King, played by Laurence Fishburne. Despite his limited screen time, he's a pretty memorable character thanks to his hamminess and being one of the few people to not be intimidated by John, particularly since he's apparently homeless.
    • The Sommelier played by Peter Serafinowicz, who is noticeably prim, posh, and proud of his job, which is to sell implements of murder.
    • Gianna is almost literally a One-Scene Wonder, but makes a big impression on audiences; her character is a ruthless criminal mastermind but also sympathetic, charismatic, and with a nigh-unshakeable composure.
  • Even Better Sequel: It sits high at an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a few points higher than the first movie, and is just as praised as the first film.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Santino is a prideful Smug Snake but he's very easy on the eyes thanks to being played by Riccardo Scamarcio.
  • Genius Bonus: The description that the tailor gives to the tactical lining "silicon carbide disks; ceramic matrices; inside of a compound laminate" is that of Dragonskin body armour.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • John playing with his new puppy in his yard. Also that the dog survives this time around.
    • John appears to show genuine remorse at having to kill Gianna and even holds her hand as she passes out from blood loss after cutting her wrists.
    • Winston giving John one hour’s head start before he declares him Excommunicado, seemingly out of respect and sympathy for him.
  • He Really Can Act: Both Common and Ruby Rose play assassins/badasses quite convincingly with Rose in particular doing well in a performance with no dialogue and reliant entirely on facial expressions and body language..
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Again John Wick. Probably more than in the previous film.
    • Possibly Cassian as well.
  • Love to Hate: Riccardo Scamarcio as Santino. He's a Smug Snake of the highest order and Scamarcio really sells it in a way that get's under the audience's skin without being annoying or over-the-top. While one might have felt bad for Viggo and even Iosef to an extent, Santino almost wears his lack of sympathetic traits (or rather, sympathetic traits he doesn't immediately snatch away with his next line of dialog) with pride. Santino being attractive also helps somewhat.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • On Tumblr, a lot of people respond to stories of cruelty to dogs — even if it is near-literally Poke the Poodle — by posting gifs of John looking like he plans to murder someone. From this movie, specifically. (e.g., The Avengers putting one of the Infinity Stones in a dog... which, Thanos learns only after he removes it, was John Wick's.)
    • The entire Sommelier scene, due to his culture and class while recommending firearms like fine wines, standing out as one of the Signature Scenes of the entire film.
    • "John Wick kills 3 guys with [insert mundane object here]"Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: For Santino D'Antonio. John refuses to work for him? He responds by burning the John Wick's house down. If that wasn't bad enough, he orders the assassination of his own sister.
  • Narm: The scene of John and Cassian shooting at each other with silenced pistols in a crowded subway tunnel with absolutely no one seeming to even notice is generally regarded as one of the few scenes in the movie that is outright impossible to take seriously, especially in a series that normally has far more realistic gunplay than this. The Hollywood Silencer in full effect here.
    • For reference, this is a more accurate representation of what such a scene would sound like.
  • Narm Charm: As inaccurate and ridiculous as the scene above was, many also find it amusing.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bordering on Paranoia Fuel, the reveal that there are thousands of assassins and hitmen employed by the Continental; nearly every person is a possible threat if you have a bounty on your head as shown in the subway scene. Jonathan MOTHERFUCKING Wick himself is terrified at the end, since he's dead meat for killing D'Antonio on Continental grounds and everywhere he looks, dozens of hitmen disguised as people are being informed of his bounty. It looks like he won't be able to survive before the credits roll as he runs away with NO safe place or home to go to, NO allies to help him, and seemingly NO way to reverse his mistake.
    • Just imagine being in a crowded area and then suddenly, EVERYONE turns to look right at you. Now think about that whilst you're about to get a 14 million dollar bounty on your head.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The weird themed assassins that come after John when he's trying to flee. They don't serve a grand narrative purpose like Cassian and Ares, but the street violinist Dark Action Girl and the sumo wrestler Giant Mook both had memorable gimmicks and fights. The two gentlemen at the food counter are this to a lesser extent as they're not necessarily memorable so much as their deaths by pencil are.
    • Frequent One-Scene-Wonder Peter Stormare shows up in the first scene as the delightfully terrified mobster Abram Tasarov.
    • The Sommelier, simply due to the amount of class and sophistication he oozes while recommending weaponry to John with all the detail and care of the finest of wines.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • Lampshaded and downplayed. In the first film, one of the most memorable moments was Viggo's speech to Iosef about who John is. This film opens with Viggo's brother Abram (whose appearance and mannerisms are very similar) giving basically the same speech to his lieutenant. The lieutenant wearily interrupts him, pointing out that he's heard this story before. The scene ends with John and Abram making a truce, and Abram never shows up again.
    • The closest the film gets to outright pandering is when John kills two men with a pencil when he has a bounty posted, but it shows how John is getting more and more rattled by the constant attempts on his life.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • When Santino places a bounty on John, supposedly innocent bystanders start pulling weapons on him while his back is turned. After a few such encounters, John is bordering on a nervous breakdown, scanning everyone he sees for a possible attack. For the viewers, anyone could be an assassin. See that woman in the subway playing violin? That massive sumo guy? How about those two sanitation workers? That homeless dude? All killers.
    • The final scene, where Winston demonstrates the level of the Continental's power by casually replacing all of Bethesda Fountain's visitors with his people, just to emphasize how badly Wick screwed up by breaking the rules.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The gun shopping scene. It's Competence Porn of the highest level combined with Awesome Music and One-Scene Wonder. What's not to love.
    • The museum shootout where John is forced to keep stealing his enemies' guns because he isn't armed to the teeth like he usually is, as well as the brief scene where he finds ammo for his Kimber 1911 and does a one-handed brass check after he reloads.
    • The part where John and Cassian are shooting at each other in a crowded subway with silenced pistols, missing each other completely and attracting zero attention from everyone around them. The over the top nature of the bit and the aura of seriousness between the two killers makes it hilarious.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This could be a better Hitman movie than any of the actual Hitman movies.
  • Squick:
    • While a nice, humorous call back to the first film, the kills with the pencil are extremely slow, unpleasant, messy and painful looking deaths to watch.
    • Gianna slitting her own wrists, blood slowly dripping across her arms isn't exactly fun to watch either.


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