TOP 15 MOVIES OF THE YEAR…#10 WILL SHOCK YOU

2. John Wick: Chapter 2

Rarely has a film seemed less in need of a sequel than 2014’s John Wick, a self-contained bit of action-cinema perfection. Nonetheless, John Wick: Chapter 2 manages to justify its own existence through a constant barrage of masterful gun-fu carnage, with bullets flying at a jaw-dropping rate courtesy of Keanu Reeves’ nattily dressed assassin. Director David Leitch’s follow-up is a symphonic orgy of frenzied firearm warfare, with violence here depicted as a culinary art form performed by stylish Zen badasses with philosophical souls. It’s akin to a hybrid of Jean-Pierre Melville’s noir cool and Marvel’s superhero fantasy, all underworld rules and regulations and unbelievable feats of fearsome brutality, with Reeves exuding male-model chicness and powder-keg explosiveness as the epicenter of this murderous maelstrom. While the film’s reason for once again forcing Wick out of retirement isn’t nearly as gripping as its predecessor’s vengeance-for-his-dead-dog motivation, the specifics of Chapter 2 wind up mattering little in the face of so much exhilarating death and destruction.

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