Welcome to my second installment of the physical media review for the John Wick franchise. John Wick: Chapter 2 is an action-packed movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Co-directed by Chad Stahelski, the film is a sequel to the first John Wick movie and delivers even bigger and more explosive action scenes than the first.
One of the things that makes John Wick: Chapter 2 so great is the way it expands upon the universe hinted at in the first film. With a bigger budget and a two-hour runtime, the filmmakers had more resources to play with and were able to create a more intricate and detailed world for the characters to inhabit.
Despite the longer runtime, the movie never slows down or gives you a chance to catch your breath. From start to finish, the action is non-stop and intense, leaving you feeling as exhausted as the main character, John Wick (played by Keanu Reeves), by the time it’s all over.
While the first John Wick movie had a very efficient narrative and was a perfectly-designed apex predator, John Wick: Chapter 2 takes things to the next level by painting an epic ballet of ballistic ultra-violence, while also expanding on the colorful universe it’s set within. Fans of the first movie who appreciated the stunning action set pieces and intriguing comic book-style universe will find all their dreams have come true with this sequel.
While the sequel may not win over anyone who didn’t enjoy the first movie, it will likely sway those who were on the fence about it. The world-building on offer here feels like a spiritual successor akin to The Raid 2’s expansion on The Raid, which similarly jettisoned the simplistic efficiency of its debut in favor of an epic expanded narrative second time around.
Shot digitally at 2.8K using an Arri Alexa XT Plus, the movie looks stunning on screen. Although it was unfortunately constrained by the limitations of a 2K digital intermediate, the picture quality is still impressive, with clarity that’s eminently impressive and finer nuances clearly visible.
The use of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) on the Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of the film in this physical media format is what really sets it apart from the standard Blu-ray version. The heavily stylized comic-book look of the movie is enhanced by the vibrant primaries, neons, and vivid hues of purple and red that are cast throughout the film, giving entire sequences a stunning new light.
The Dolby Atmos track on the Ultra HD Blu-ray is also impressive, running off an excellent Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core. Dialogue is delivered with clear and coherent dissemination across the frontal array, and the effects and score are both punchy and precise. The score retains some of the John Wick themes from the first movie, with interludes at the party for some stomping beats, as well as some classical input.
Overall, John Wick: Chapter 2 is an excellent entry in what may well, be looked back upon as one of the greatest action franchises of all time. The action is intense and relentless, the world-building is impressive, and the picture and sound quality on the Ultra HD Blu-ray edition is outstanding. If you’re a fan of action movies, you won’t want to miss this one
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