It’s very rare for me to write anything on this site that’s not associated with politics or religion. Those are my passions for this site, but every now and then something pops up that deserves a quick note. John Wick: Chapter 2 is deserving of such a note.
I enjoyed the first movie and had high hopes that the second would be very good… for a sequel. So often sequels fail to achieve the level of the original. Notable exceptions are Godfather II and Empire Strikes Back, but normally a great movie is followed by a sequel that falls somewhere in the range between awful and somewhat acceptable.
JW2 delivered in a way that took it a notch above the first movie. It had better action, an impossible feat to accomplish considering how amazing the action was in the first film. It broadened the understanding of Wick’s skills. Without spoiling anything, we get to see a different side of Wick’s character in this one. The first movie he was a man on a mission driven by emotion. In this one, we get to see the methodical planning of a master assassin at work.
Perhaps the most compelling part of the movie was the universe it continued to expand upon what we learned about it in the first. The world of The Continental is still shrouded in mystery, but we get to learn more about this mythical haven for assassins and the infrastructure associated with its maintenance. After watching the first movie, I felt that this universe could easily be expanded into an excellent television series and the second movie reiterates this premise. Though that’s likely not going to happen, at least there’s a comic book series in the works. Perhaps I’ll finally have a reason to pick up my first comic book.
Now, how does all of this apply to America? To understand this fully, you have to watch the movie, but here’s the premise: social justice isn’t very fun. Believe it or not, there are those on the left who get into protesting for the fun of it. They heard stories of their parents or grandparents marching on Washington or spending a night in jail to fight for a righteous cause. They want to experience the same thing. We’ve seen this translated into entertainment as well with social justice shows popping up on television and in theaters.
Generally, they’re terrible. Ask Miss Sloane.
JW2 brings us the visceral fun of ultra-violence in a way that’s not overly gruesome. It also doesn’t dwell in the concepts of good and evil. Wick is generally a neutral person who just wants to be left alone. He dwells in evil realms, but even those realms tend to be less about good and evil and more about financial gain. That’s not to say that killing for money is any less evil than killing for personal reasons or to strike fear into others, but in the entertainment world, killing as a function of style over motivation is a welcome distraction to our day-to-day lives.
If movies like this or La La Land continue to come out of Hollywood instead of the social justice garbage that seems to be forced upon us, perhaps we can all keep our entertainment where it belongs: as a diversion.