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#1 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

John Wick is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was simple, but executed perfectly. I just saw Chapter 2 and after the first scene, I started getting scared that it would be a very poor follow up.

Why? Because it retreaded on the first one in a way that wasn't clever, insightful, nor funny as it tried to be. The head-opposition of the first movie was the father of the 'bad guy', head of a Russian mob. In Chapter 2, it starts off showing the brother of said head boss, speaking in a bad Russian accent. He says, literally word for word, the exact same thing about John that Viggo (head boss in the first movie) said to his son. John is dangerous, he's a man of focus and so on. Even the pencil part makes a return.

I was not enjoying it. I wanted Chapter 2 to push things forward, not retread on the first movie and follow its major developments beat for beat. It seemed like this was doing that.

The opening is absolutely terrible. Any plot development was shit, any action scenes were pretty boring. This made me feel bad about the prospect of the rest of the movie, which made every sequence even more upsetting. Luckily, the opening is more apt to a closure of the first movie. John makes peace with the Russians and then Chapter 2 really starts.

It started getting good. There were some minor moments of retreading in the rest of the movie, but they were more referential than major plot points. Chapter 2 started elaborating on the mythology of the assassins. The continental, the rules; of which a new one was introduced: the Marker. Where the first movie showed glimpses of a vast underground network of assassins and the code by which they live, its central story was revenge and it stuck with it. Chapter 2 digs deeper into that code and a lot of the inner workings are laid bare, to great satisfaction.

I went from being uncomfortable during the opening, to clinging to my seat. Not only does Chapter 2 portray a very interesting world and shows you what you hoped you would see, it manages to do it while still maintaining its core of action sequences in the same style. Clean, long shots without shake cam or ridiculous quick cuts. Emphasis on target acquisition, realistic reload times and positioning. You can once again count bullets if you want. It outdoes the first movie quite easily, though I found the 'god armor' a bit much and there are a few scenes that are a little too conveniently played out.

Nevertheless, I thought Chapter 2 was more than a worthy follow up. It made me extremely excited about that universe. It is also the most 'gunporn' movie I've ever seen, but it manages to do it in a good way. That ending is also pretty great, although... seriously... is every damn person on the planet an assassin?

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#2 Posted by Metron4 (17 posts) -

I want to know how many people recognized the computers being used by Accounts Payable. They were either Commodore 64's or Vic 20's.

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#3 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

I had to skim this to avoid spoilers lol. Yes, I understand the absurdity of that. Anyway, it's not out in the UK until next Friday. But I saw your last line and am glad that it's worthy.

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#4 Edited by mozzle (303 posts) -

Interesting take on the opening. I felt very differently, though I do get where you are coming from. For me, it was really effective.

The first face we see in John Wick 2 is Buster Keaton. The second face should have been Fred Astaire. (I don't think those are my words. It might have been from a review I read.) I have more to say on that, and I will add more thoughts when I am not at work. I also have a ton more thoughts on the movie in general.

For now.

1. The repeated pencil story mythologizes Wick, making him a Batman like character. And the opening action sequence plays along with it. Moving in and out of shadows, without seeing how he gets from one shadow to the next, taking out bad guys one by one. It's a lot of fun. And very different from any other of the action sequences across both movies.

2. It also drives home the fact that this story takes place imminently after the first John wick. It is a good reminder as it has been over two years since the first movie. Without it, I would have been more inclined to say get over your dead wife already. It makes the decision that John Wick makes at the end of the movie in the Continental make sense. He's not thinking straight, and would never have done what he did, if he wasn't still dealing with everything that had happened in the first movie.

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#5 Posted by deactivated-5ba16609964d9 (3361 posts) -

I really want to see how batshit insane a third John Wick movie would be. The ending literally sets up John Wick and his dog versus every assassin in the world.

I love the criminal underworld of John Wick. Even though you get a bit more insight into the inner workings of the John Wick universe in the second movie it really feels like only scratched the surface. I like that they keep it mysterious and vague only showing us hints and how complicated and deep the rules of organised crime are in the movies. I feel like seeing the inner-workings should never be shown unless it is absolutely crucial to the plot of a possible third movie.

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#6 Posted by lead_dispencer (534 posts) -

@mozzle: this isn't continuing right after the first. The dog goes from a puppy to a full size so I would assume it's been a few months at best. Just my observation but that could be continuity error or something.

Great movie!

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#7 Posted by mozzle (303 posts) -

@lead_dispencer:

It takes place 4 days after the first. At least according to Polygon. Don't remember how big the dog is at the end of the first movie. I didn't think it was a puppy.

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#8 Posted by Dussck (1053 posts) -

I expected a bit more from it as well. I thought Chapter 1 was interesting with the whole 'assassins community' introduction and he gets out of sme nasty situations with luck and skill. None of that in this movie. I had the feeling I was just watching him walking into a room and gunning down everyone until the movie is over.

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#9 Posted by fuzzypumpkin (432 posts) -

Ok, but the part with Keanu and Common trying to take inconspicuous shots at each other in the train station was hilarious.

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#10 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@fuzzypumpkin I was in the theater with only 10 other people or so (morning screening) and I tried really hard to suppress raging laughter but I couldn't.

@mozzle: this isn't continuing right after the first. The dog goes from a puppy to a full size so I would assume it's been a few months at best. Just my observation but that could be continuity error or something.

Great movie!

I'm not a dog expert, but it doesn't look like a puppy to me. Either way, looks about the same in Chapter 2.

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#11 Posted by Ravelle (3290 posts) -

@metron4 said:

I want to know how many people recognized the computers being used by Accounts Payable. They were either Commodore 64's or Vic 20's.

They looked odd and I didn't get a good luck, my first thought was Fallout 3 type terminals.

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#12 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@ravelle: Yeah, that's what it looked like to me as well. So much so that I was actually trying to tell if they didn't just hijack those assets for those sequences.

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#13 Posted by Butler (452 posts) -

Not using the dog in this one to get some chomps out of the bad guys was a serious mistake on their part. It would of been an awesome metaphorical revenge through line for the cancer puppy.

This movie was part comedy, part Keanu Reeves shooting and endless amount of badguys running up to him from four feet away, and confirms my fears that indeed every single person in NY is an assassin.

Does this put it in the same universe as Smoking Aces? ;)

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#14 Posted by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

Just saw it now, and it was fantastic. It didn't start off very good, but the arrow pointed up the entire way. Extremely well done film. So excited to see where they take the franchise next. Also, pretty weird that they basically showed the ending of the film in the trailers. Was kinda just waiting for that scene to show up, but it never did, until the very end.

Also; is Common's character dead? I'm gonna assume not, and that he shows up as an unlikely ally in the next chapter. Sure hope so! He was basically John Wick if John Wick didn't retire.

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#15 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@bojackhorseman: Never watch trailers. I didn't watch a single one and I would have hated it if I had to expect that scene. I think it wraps the film up while setting up another movie very well and was very pleased to see it when I did. I also laughed out loud when Morpheus showed up as birdman. Had no idea he was in it.

I'm confident Cassius is still alive. Professional courtesy as he said. I also think the deaf lady is still alive somewhat. It seems whenever people say: 'Be seeing you', they agree to not kill each other. It happened in the first movie and again twice here.

But how good is that fucking movie. I'm going to see it again tomorrow. Everything beyond the intro is just fantastic. The Marker was a cool plot device, the extreme rules of the Continental, the action was insanely great, the deaf girl was cool, Cassius was awesome, them shooting at each other inconspicuously in the train station was nothing short of hilarious, the gunporn was great... man. This movie. If you thought that 'casually reload right in front of you so I can put another bullet in your head' from the first movie was great (which I did), this 'insert another shell into this shotgun while it is piercing your skull so I can murder you harder' part was almost even better.

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#16 Edited by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@bojackhorseman: This movie. If you thought that 'casually reload right in front of you so I can put another bullet in your head' from the first movie was great (which I did), this 'insert another shell into this shotgun while it is piercing your skull so I can murder you harder' part was almost even better.

That was one of the best fucking parts of the film, and so obviously inspired by that reload scene in the first. However, he was piercing his chest, at least if we're talking about the same scene.

This film really built on the first one in some amazing ways. Was a little worried (but also kinda hopeful) that the fallout of Wick killing D'Antonio in the Continental would be Winston becoming the antagonist of the third film. I think that could have been a really cool dynamic to play around with. At this point it seems more likely that he will be an ally in the third film as well, considering he gave Wick that marker in the end (which I can only assume had his bloody fingerprint in it?). People say that the plot in these movies are thin, but I still care a lot about the characters.

Anyway, looking forward to the third one already. And yeah, everyone the theater were laughing their asses off in that sequence in the underground with Cassian and Wick trying to shoot each other.

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#17 Posted by redyoshi (1426 posts) -

Saw it today. I liked that they expanded a bit more on that assassin underworld without going too overboard. Why do all the telephone operators dress alike? Hell if I know, but it looks cool and that's all I need. And yeah that "wait one moment while I reload and then kill you" bit that they brought back from the first movie was great.

@zevvion said:

I'm confident Cassius is still alive. Professional courtesy as he said. I also think the deaf lady is still alive somewhat. It seems whenever people say: 'Be seeing you', they agree to not kill each other. It happened in the first movie and again twice here.

I hope this is the case and we get a cool assassin battle royale for chapter 3, whenever that pops up. Tons of great characters in this universe already.

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#18 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@bojackhorseman: I would call the plot simple, but not thin. It's simple in a good way. In the first movie it is basically just a revenge story, but it is completely believable due to the way the characters are set up (and honestly also Keanu's acting of all things) that he would do what he did.

I don't think the Marker at the end was explained well enough to definitely say what was up with that. It could have Winston's blood on it as you said, but it could also be the completed Marker from d'Antonio that he gave to Wick, or possibly be of someone else that Wick has helped in the past.

Yeah, you are probably right about the shotgun being to the chest. I'm going to see the movie again today to confirm.

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#19 Posted by sammo21 (5963 posts) -

I loved two. I agree that the marker at the end wasn't well explained but holy hell that ending was fantastic.

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#20 Posted by Zirilius (1700 posts) -

@sammo21 said:

I loved two. I agree that the marker at the end wasn't well explained but holy hell that ending was fantastic.

Winston gives him the marker so that John can acquire his help even though his privileges to the Continental have been revoked. That was my take away from it.

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#21 Posted by sammo21 (5963 posts) -

@zirilius: That's what I assumed as well, but it is hard to tell. Could also be used to get anyone's help but again, all of this is more assumption than solid fact.

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#22 Posted by JasonMasters (292 posts) -

I thought the beginning was great. You NEVER take a man's car. He was just closing the loop. I had no issues with it. From there, the movie only gets better.

Guess I'm just respectfully disagreeing. :)

At the end of the day, the character of John Wick is the least interesting part of those movies. He is merely our surrogate into the crazy secret assassin society. That society is actually the real star of the movie.

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#23 Edited by Whitestripes09 (917 posts) -

The beginning was effective to me because it transitions and closes where the 1st movie left at and explains the character and story pretty simply to people who have not seen the it.

I loved everything about this movie and can't wait for the third one.

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#24 Posted by mrpandaman (959 posts) -

@zevvion said:

I'm confident Cassius is still alive. Professional courtesy as he said. I also think the deaf lady is still alive somewhat. It seems whenever people say: 'Be seeing you', they agree to not kill each other. It happened in the first movie and again twice here.

If you think about it, right after John and Cassius fight we meet Lawrence Fishburne's character who John also happened to let live so we might definitely see Cassius. Basically showing that John leaving Cassius alive isn't the first time where he's left an opponent alive out of respect (He did also do this in the first movie right before he entered the club). However, I don't think the deaf lady is alive, if I remember right John stabbed her basically the same place where he stabbed Cassius, but this time he took the knife out whereas he left it in Cassius. The "Be seeing you" phrase was also said by John to Viggo and Viggo back to John at the end of the first movie and that time Viggo did die. It seems to be something they say when both parties know that they are going to have to kill each other (almost as a formality) or it can also be interpreted as "seeing you in the next life or hell."

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#25 Edited by takayamasama (1538 posts) -

Just saw this last night, oh boy it was fantastic. I was giddy from the get go, and WOOOOOO PETER STORMARE!!!

I really liked that ending too. I'm a fan of good cliffhangers, ones that resolve the immediate plot but leave open a whole can of worms to be tackled in the next movie.

Ending spoilers ahead. I wrote a lot so I'm not gonna use spoiler block, but I want to warn people even though this thread has a spoiler warning in it:

So, I wanna talk about the ending and that Marker. A lot of people think that Marker that Winston gave John has Winston's blood in it. I think that is wrong and please allow me to explain my I believe so:

Winston, being one of the High Table, has to keep quite neutral, as the two movies would suggest. He even goes against this somewhat, buying John enough time to get a head start on the rest of the world of assassins at the end. It would make no sense, however, for him to give John a blood oath right before John is about to become open target for the entire world AND has lost all privileges of any Continental in the world. We can infer the markers (at least based to what is said about them in Chapter 2) require the souls linked by it to owe the other a job. John asked Santino to do a job for him during his "impossible task" to get out of the world, and gave his blood on the marker as payment.

Because the markers act as an "I owe you one job", there doesn't seem to be reason Winston would need John for a job. He controls the eastern American kingdom of assassins (maybe even all of America, not enough information available to tell if America gets split into two halves due to size, or if Winston is the defacto king of the United States scene) and he works to obtain his own interests and those of the High Table. The loss of status and face should it be found out John holds a blood debt over him would be massive, could endanger his status at the High Table, and (for me) just doesn't add up.

Why did Winston have the marker then? I believe, thanks in part to the scene where he is finalizing Santino's completed Marker, that all Markers are held by custodians working for the Continential. Winston had that VERY large book that had a history of markers, including a secondary blood print from both sides of those involved in the marker agreement. It is my assumption that Cassius, before first arriving at John Wick's residence to initial request John honor his agreement, had to stop by the Continental and "check-out" his marker from Winston. I believe you could back up this theory with an assumption about the world and a scene in the movie. After his house gets blown to pieces, John goes straight to meet Winston, and Winston already knows everything that happened. Yes world gets around fast in the Assassin underworld in these movies, but I believe that he knew what had happened so quick because he knows how John would react to Cassius upon Cassius picking up his marker. I also believe the Continental would require all markers be held on a neutral ground, to prevent one of the two parties hunting down the other, killing them, cutting their hand and forcing a hand print upon the marker, then passing it off as a job complete. This would allow accountability by both parties involved in the marker to uphold the rules.

So whose blood is in the marker besides John's? That is a question that we just don't have any information on which to answer. Clearly something that will be very important in the Finale, as John will have almost no safe havens or places to lay low, and Winston knows this. He also knows that as soon as the hour passes and John is excommunicated, he will not be able to get on Continental grounds to retrieve his marker, at least not peacefully. So in the interest of his business, Winston gives John his marker, both to assist John in survival and to ensure John doesn't come shooting up his place to get the marker. I also think Winston has his own end goal involving John, so he wants to indirectly do what he can within the rules to keep John alive.

I'm very excited to see the next one, which I feel has to be the last, as it seems there is only one way the story can go now. I'll be interested to see who John ends up going too and asking for help thanks to his marker. Start making your dream castings for who you want to see play an assassin bro that goes on a murder spree with Wick.

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#26 Edited by mozzle (303 posts) -

@takayamasama: On point! I agree with every you wrote. It has to be someone we know, right?

Also, why wasn't the key maker in this movie? He was in first one.

As for John Wick 3, do we see Carrie-Anne Moss, or Hugo Weaving?

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#27 Posted by BoOzak (2520 posts) -

Just finished watching it. (release day in England) I really enjoyed it, personally I thought the intro was one of the better parts but that could be because i'm not much of a gun porn guy. I like shoot outs but I prefer martial arts and chase scenes. Also Peter Stormare doing a bad russian accent was perfect, you get a guy like that to chew scenery, not be intimidating.

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#28 Posted by achillesforever (146 posts) -

@boozak said:

Just finished watching it. (release day in England) I really enjoyed it, personally I thought the intro was one of the better parts but that could be because i'm not much of a gun porn guy. I like shoot outs but I prefer martial arts and chase scenes. Also Peter Stormare doing a bad russian accent was perfect, you get a guy like that to chew scenery, not be intimidating.

I loved how it was reversed version of Constantine with Peter Stormare and Keanu

My other favorite part was Rome's Continental being managed by Franco Nero who was the original Django (and showed up in Django Unchained as well)

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#29 Edited by paulmako (1958 posts) -

Just saw it! Release day in UK. I loved it. Very worthy sequel that absolutely justifies its existence. It's testament to how they set up the 'rules' over the two films that when John kills the bad guy the way he does, you know it's a hugr deal. I was actually wasn't expecting him to do it. Also the paranoid final scene was amazing.

I laughed when he killed the guy on stage during the concert and the audience cheered.

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#30 Posted by yuinova (29 posts) -

@zevvion: I think the plot is simple, the story isn't.

The plot of both the films is basic, but it's in the amazing environmental storytelling and worldbuilding that the story really is told.

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#31 Posted by Asurastrike (2306 posts) -

I just went and saw it for a second time. I absolutely love these movies.

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#32 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@boozak said:

Just finished watching it. (release day in England) I really enjoyed it, personally I thought the intro was one of the better parts but that could be because i'm not much of a gun porn guy. I like shoot outs but I prefer martial arts and chase scenes. Also Peter Stormare doing a bad russian accent was perfect, you get a guy like that to chew scenery, not be intimidating.

It's not that there is nothing to like about the intro (his reaction to hearing hell break loose in his shop was hilarious) it's more that it is a very poor start if you don't know where the movie is going. It feels like an attempt to recapture the first movie, almost desperately so. But knowing where the movie goes, I can appreciate it a lot more. It's basically just to wrap the loose ends of the first movie up. Actual Chapter 2 doesn't really start until after that intro. Which is totally fine, but as I didn't know that intro basically had nothing to do with the direction of the rest of the movie, I thought: 'oh hell no, what are you doing movie? This is not the direction you should go in at all!'

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#33 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (3645 posts) -

Can't believe the OP hates Peter Stormare's Russian accent. I mean that's what he's famous for.

I love all the call back to past Keanu Reeves movies like Constantine and the Matrix (you guys noticed the mobile phones right?)

Also the John Wick series is the best Hitman movie series we are ever going to get.

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#34 Edited by ichthy (1353 posts) -

Also the John Wick series is the best Hitman movie series we are ever going to get.

As I was watching that movie I couldn't stop thinking that. The entire catacombs rave sequence just felt like something out of Hitman mission.

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#35 Edited by BabyChooChoo (7089 posts) -

I don''t even know where to begin other than I loved this movie. The setup for Chapter 3 (and hopefully the final chapter) was pretty bold on their part. He broke the rules and instead of them copping out at the end and saying "oh, he's the main character! All is forgiven!" they actually establish immediately that he's in deep shit and now he alone has to deal with it.

I hope Common is the one to finish the job. I think that's kinda what they set up anyway with the parallels between his and Laurance Fishbourne's (who I also loved in this movie) characters, but still he was much better in this movie than I thought he would be and so far he's been the only person to give Wick a run for his money. Which reminds me, that "subtle" gunfight in the train station was both clever and hilarious.

Ya know, this movie is what I wish The Raid 2 was i.e. a more "refined" version of the original. Don't get me wrong, as a fan of action movies, under no circumstances would I ever knock the sheer amount of skill and dedication that went into the The Raid 2. However, where that movie fails in my book is it gets a little too over the top. Like...I get it, John Wick 2 obviously isn't exactly some realistic action movie either, but I watch that movie and I see how things got to the point they did. Everything makes sense within the context of the universe that the first setup. It shows restraint. I watch The Raid 2 and I'm like "what happened? Is this a superhero movie now? This is fucking nuts."

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#36 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (3645 posts) -

@ichthy said:
@jonny_anonymous said:

Also the John Wick series is the best Hitman movie series we are ever going to get.

As I was watching that movie I couldn't stop thinking that. The entire catacombs rave sequence just felt like something out of Hitman mission.

In my headcanon it's set in the same world.

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#37 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

Can't believe the OP hates Peter Stormare's Russian accent. I mean that's what he's famous for.

Oh is it? In that case let me change my opinion. I love his terrible Russian accent because he's famous for it.

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#38 Posted by pompouspizza (1554 posts) -

The film blew me away. I loved the first one so much and I was very nervous going into 2 but I came away thinking it's better than the original but I think that the original is essential to fully appreciate 2. It builds on the first one in some really fantastic ways and I love the way they set up a third film.

This film reminded me a lot of the Raid 2 in how much better than the first one it was. I cannot overstate how much I love the weird lore they have created and I'll take all I can get.

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#39 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (2522 posts) -

I wish I could go see it if wasn't coming out in goddamn May.

Along with Get Out.

And we only just got Silence with a very limited release.

Sorry, I just felt like venting. Australian film distribution seems especially messed up this year.

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#40 Posted by stryker1121 (2168 posts) -

The second half rivals anything from the first movie. I loved these random assassins and contract killers getting a text message and taking their shot at the $7m. We even got a pencil scene, and the two most brutal kills of the movie with said pencil.

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#41 Posted by stryker1121 (2168 posts) -

The film blew me away. I loved the first one so much and I was very nervous going into 2 but I came away thinking it's better than the original but I think that the original is essential to fully appreciate 2. It builds on the first one in some really fantastic ways and I love the way they set up a third film.

This film reminded me a lot of the Raid 2 in how much better than the first one it was. I cannot overstate how much I love the weird lore they have created and I'll take all I can get.

They've done a great job at grounding a crazy conceit into a believable world with clear, understandable rules.

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#42 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8818 posts) -

I wish it wasn't quite so self-referential and the cameo was kind of needless, but I thought the action was really neat.