Reel Reviews

By on February 15, 2017

Action! — ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ and ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

It was a good weekend at the box office with higher than expected numbers showing up to see new releases and Oscar nominations. The top three spots were all occupied by new movies, which brought in more than $129 million. “Hidden Figures” continues its amazing post-release run by hanging in the top five while “La La Land” slipped to eighth with “Lion,” “Fences,” and “Manchester by the Sea” still riding post Golden Globe glory in the top 20.

While the Hollywood buzz is still ringing about Oscar picks, this weekend was all about the action. Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, the unstoppable hitman who first graced the screen in 2014.

Wick is forced back into work as a hitman when Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) forces the retired hired hand to make good on a debt and kill the Italian mobster’s sister (Claudia Gerini). But first he must get back in touch with the underground web of assassins run by Winston (Ian McShane, “Deadwood”). In the end — or is it the end? — Wick is forced out of the safety of his assassins guild and made a $7 million mark for any would-be killers who seem to be lurking everywhere, from the homeless guy in the subway to the busking violinist.

Joining Reeves in this nonstop shootout are Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”) as the deaf killer Ares, rapper Common as fellow hitman Cassian, Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King of New York, and John Leguizamo in a bit role as Aurelio.

If you like seeing guns reloaded, reloaded, and reloaded and enjoy leg take-downs “John Wick: Chapter 2” is for you. This movie is crack to the gun enthusiast, featuring sexy shots of handguns and tactical weapons. If you know the difference between a Glock 34 and a Glock 26 you will probably love this movie. If you know what the C.A.R. system is (Center Axis Relock, a gun fighting technique) then you will REALLY love this movie.

I wouldn’t say I was bored with “John Wick: Chapter 2,” but it wasn’t my cup of tea at all.

This is the type of movie that makes Reeves look like a joke, a parody of himself. He’ll be back as Ted, as in Bill and Ted, shortly.

Stylish hitman Keanu Reeves is reloaded for non-stop action in “John Wick: Chapter 2. (Thunder Road Pictures)

Stylish hitman Keanu Reeves is reloaded for non-stop action in “John Wick: Chapter 2. (Thunder Road Pictures)

‘LEGO Batman’

It was a sure bet “The LEGO Batman Movie” would find a perch atop the box office rankings on its opening weekend. Up against the aforementioned Wick and the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the animated spinoff brought in $53 million over the weekend, but if you go to the theater to see the second coming of “The LEGO Movie” you’ll be sorely disappointed.

“It’s okay,” said Will T. of Lititz.

Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman and Bruce Wayne and is joined by Michael Cera as sidekick Robin. This flick is star-studded for voices, featuring Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, and Conan O’Brien as The Riddler. Even Billy Dee Williams gets in on the action as Two-Face!

The movie is a fun time, but “The LEGO Movie” set the bar so high it is hard to match.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1.) Watch a movie 2.) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

LEGO Batman brought in $53 million during its opening weekend. (Warner Bros)

LEGO Batman brought in $53 million during its opening weekend. (Warner Bros)

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