“Neo Noir”, which translates to “new black”, is a term used in the film industry to describe movies that share a lot of similar themes and visual elements – namely, anti-hero protagonists presented with difficult situations and uses of dark, shadowy lighting. These play on the classic “film noir” movies of the mid-20th century.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” resides in this genre and gives the audience an impressive display of our new, favorite ex-hitman.
The first “John Wick” film that debuted in 2014 was very well received and the exciting action sequences helped it stand out from many of the other action movies on the market. Chapter 2 not only offers more of the impressively choreographed action from the first movie, it also continues the charismatic style of its predecessor. The business-as-usual tone translates well, as Mr. Wick carries out his assigned duties equipped with the finest gear and the bulletproof suit to go with it. Especially during scenes where John is gathering the things he needs to go about his mission, there are plenty of opportune hitman-related puns made that add a witty and amusing sense of humor throughout.
Nevertheless, Wick is still the man with the noisy black Mustang trying, but ultimately failing, to stay in retirement. From beginning to end, villains speak of him fearfully, since it is to be assumed that which he is capable of. Fans of the first movie might recognize a couple similar monologues spoken both by his allies and enemies, reciting a tale of warning about his lethal use of even just a pencil. They also deem his recurring nickname as the bogeyman himself.
Another factor in the success of both John Wick movies is simply their star power. The casting of this sequel, in particular, was very exciting for director Chad Stahelski, since it was the first time Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne have been on screen together since “The Matrix” in 1999.
Having Reeves play the main character has certainly benefited the popularity of these titles, and even more notably the box office numbers. Chapter 2 earned a whopping $30 million in its opening weekend.
Rumors are already swirling of another entry into the world of John Wick, and given the format of the title and clear growing success of the franchise, it’s safe to assume these rumors may be pointed in the right direction.