I don’t think I’m alone when I say what a surprise the first John Wick film was on nearly every level. From its top-notch, next-level action sequences to its unique worldbuilding, Wick’s first outing, featuring the stellar Keanu Reeves, became a sleeper hit in 2014. More surprising still was how Keanu and Co. were able to both refine and expand all the groundwork that was laid out in the first film and to iterate upon it in such a way as to not overly complicate things.
With the sequel, the filmmakers upped the ante and delivered us more plot yet kept the amazing, visceral and completely badass action at the film’s core. You can check out my full review of the film itself here.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Lionsgate and, like the film itself, there are tons of goodies in this release to keep fans coming back for multiple viewings. Contained in its terribly average packaging and boring cover, we have a Blu-ray, DVD, digital combo pack – something that should be a standard for physical releases these days. The digital copy is available through Ultra Violet or iTunes, of which I prefer the latter, finding Ultra Violet’s interface and streaming to still be a bit rough around the edges.
The transfer is near-perfect and looks absolutely gorgeous. The blacks are deep, and the outstanding lighting showcased in the movie pops just as much in a home environment as it does in the theater. The sound is presented in Dolby Atmos, making even basic TV speakers sound pristine and causing me to instantly wish to upgrade my home theater setup.
There’s an audio commentary featuring Reeves and director Chad Stahelski – chock full of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and banter, which is an excellent supplement to the gobs of bonus supplements also contained on the Blu-ray.
There are multiple featurettes, including ones that discuss the surprise success of the first film, the intensive training the actors went through, a look into how the visuals were designed, the friendship of Stahelski and Reeves, the expanded underworld created in the film, the “car-fu” sequence, the fight scenes, Wick’s gear, a look at the massive kill count in the film and the theatrical trailer. There are also deleted scenes and a short titled “Dog Wick.”
Yes, there are a ton of features, but most of them could have probably been consolidated into just one making-of feature, considering most of them are 10 minutes or less. They’re all fairly interesting nonetheless, most notably and predictably the ones involving how the intense action was crafted.
Whether you’re picking this up for the film alone or because you want to dive deeper into the behind-the-scenes elements of what it takes to create something as technically complex as John Wick: Chapter 2, this is a Blu-ray worth owning and one I highly recommend.