Review: John Wick 2

Hi,  Steven Barnes, here with a movie review

By the way, I really should be writing this from a hospital bed today.  Tissue elasticity is a wonderful thing.  Fell on the slippery pavement at the Arclight Pasadena, and if my left thigh socket hadn’t been flexible, the stress would have radiated down to my knee and probably torn tendons and ligaments.    Please practice your yoga and tai chi, or joint mobility at the least, and combine with balance work.


Now…back to nice, comforting FANTASY violence.

John Wick 2 is a kind of perfection of the ultra-violently absurd, so over the top that about 2/3 of the way through I was bored with all the action…and then suddenly I ‘dialed in’ on the movie’s frequency,   and was kind of stunned.   In a very good way.

I couldn’t recommend it to anyone who has never chuckled at a good head-shot, and even then you have to have a very sick puppy rattling around in your head somewhere.

I do.  Fantasy mayhem is where I put my anger and fear.  Works for me just fine.

The set up is that retired uber-hitman Keanu Reeves is called out of retirement when a marker is called in, leading to angst and lots and lots and lots of people killed in a variety of entertaining ways. If you like that sort of thing. Reeves is now the Fred Astaire of bone-cracking in American cinema, and the choreography is flat astonishing at times. But…be warned. NOT for every taste. At all. But I got into the mood, and somewhere past that 2/3 mark I felt like I was watching a genuine classic of its kind. If you ever wanted to watch Neo fight Justin Bieber, this is the movie for you.

For the aforementioned sick puppies like I can be…an “A.”


Without any spoiler not present in the trailers, let’s look at the film from the Hero’s Journey perspective:

Hero confronted with challenge: to accept a kill assignment.

Rejects: he cannot do it and save his soul

Accepts: He is forced to accept after his house is blown up–he will take the assignment, and then kill the man who destroyed his life.


The “Road of Trials” will be the places he goes, the things he does on the way to the challenge that forces him to grow and change.

The “Allies and Powers” will be his friends and associates, his will and focus and skills.


All leading to the confrontation with evil where he FAILS.  Oh, yes. You’ll know. And the dark night. And the “What have you DONE, John???”



After you’ve seen it, I challenge you to map out the rest of the process for yourself.  It’s all there, very clearly, once you understand.

A brief look at how this maps to the “real” rather than the “reel”:

My fall was a challenge, and if I hadn’t accepted the responsibility for protecting my health, I’d have ripped my knee out–allies and powers, people.

IF you want to know more about applying these concepts to your life and work, LIFEWRITING PREMIUM, our membership platform incorporating REVOLUTIONARY WRITING and THE LIFEWRITING TEN-WEEK program is now open until March.   Once it closes, it won’t open again until summer.  The first month is only ONE DOLLAR!   WWW.LIFEWRITINGPREMIUM.COM


Now…I have to get into some of the most important writing of my life.  Have a great weekend…and be safe out there!


Write with Passion!



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