John Wick: Chapter 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
“You wanted me back…I’m back!”
Action fans rejoice! Not simply because a sequel was made to the terrifically action-packed coolness that is JOHN WICK. But because on its own merit, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 is wickedly awesome fun on all accounts and even bigger, badder, bloodier, and subsequently better than the original.
“You stabbed the devil in the back. To him this isn’t vengeance, this is justice.”
Keanu Reeves returns to the title role in the sequel to JOHN WICK, aptly named JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2. The film kicks off with John finishing his vengeance from the original as he battles a crew of Russian mechanics in hand to hand or even car to hand combat and reclaiming his 69’ Mustang. Determined to retire once again with his new dog, trouble in the form of an old debt comes knocking at the door. When John refuses to return to the killer profession, his hand is forced once again. Wick’s dedication and determination of resilience is matched by none. His skills are known and respected by all whom he comes across, specifically among the high-class society of hired assassins, but for some reason they continue to poke the scariest man alive, the Baba Yaga, the one you send to kill the Boogeyman.
Tailor: “Is this a formal event or a social affair?”
John Wick: “Social.”
Tailor: “How many buttons?”
John Wick: “Two.”
Tailor: “And what style?”
John Wick: “Tactical.”
Only the most exquisite suits and weapons are in order for our sophisticated killer. His tailored suit comes with bullet proof liner and his choice of guns and knives is like pairing a fine wine with the main course. Even the dessert has its place in this lavishly display of weaponry and John Wick has a refined pallet for violence. From Bond to Commando, the suiting up montage has been around for a long time. John Wick takes it to a whole new level of class and elegance.
The gentleman’s code to killing is a constant theme in this massive underground world of high-class secret assassins. There seems to be an unspoken rule to not draw attention from the public and never kill any innocent bystanders. Somehow JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 manages to make nearly every bad guy respectable without the needless execution of the general public even if some of the creative battles happen on crowed subways or concerts.
John Wick: “I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all.”
Winston: “Of course you will.”
Stunt man turned director Chad Stahelski understands action. Every shot or scene has a dramatic flare. Not a single sequence goes by that isn’t visually interesting. Sure there are lots of nameless baddies that get shot in the face but there are also lots of character bosses to this multi-level, high-quality video game. Each baddie that John Wick must face has a distinct style or language that is highlighted by giant colorful subtitles. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 has mastered the formula of a fun, artistic, shoot ‘em-up, action thriller. The key ingredients are as follows: 1) Plenty of cool, creative fight sequences. 2) Simple effective dialogue or catch phrases. 3) A unique style. 4) Self awareness. 5) Keanu Reeves.
Enough can’t be said about Keanu Reeves, who at 52 years old still has the charisma, toughness, and impressive combat skills to carry these films. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 sets up many possibilities for future installments and I hope this book of Wick starring Reeves has many more chapters to come. In a glorious foray of sophisticated gluttonous weaponry and violence, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 understands the action genre better than nearly anything you’ve ever seen and has a blast proving it.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Everything I said about the video of the JOHN WICK 4K UHD release is mostly true here as well. If anything, I would say the video quality might be just slightly less, although that’s a very subjective opinion. Black levels are a touch clearer when compared to the Blu-ray and the fast moving action scenes seem smoother and clearer than on their Blu-ray counterpart. Like the first JOHN WICK, the bonus is with the HDR, where the darker backgrounds and dimly lit action settings come to life. This is a great looking 4K UHD and JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 is a movie that greatly benefits from the improved clarity and color.
Audio: We get the same Dolby Atmos track as found on the Blu-ray.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves: These guys give a nice commentary. It’s clear from listening to Stahelski that he not only loves the world he helped create, but he’s passionate about how it should look. Reeves, as always, seems like a nice guy and has a lot of good comments.
Deleted Scenes (8:05): Obviously, there’s nothing too exciting here and it’s mostly extended dialogue.
Featurettes (65:13): Like a lot of recent releases, there are 10 total featurettes, all of which are too short to stand on their own, so I’m lumping them into one category. We get a featurette exploring the surprise success of the first film, lots of rehearsal footage and a couple of featurettes focused on Keanu Reeves’ training for the film.
Dog Wick Short Trailer and a Theatrical Trailer