John Wick 2 UltraHD Blu-ray Review
Summary: Legendary hit man John Wick is forced out of retirement again by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.
Movie Review: If you were a fan of the first John Wick, then you’re almost certainly going to like the second film. Picking up immediately after the first one ends, John finds himself forced back into his old life because of a bargain he made to get out the first time. The movie starts out even faster than the previous one did, and never lets up. As you might expect the body count begins to pile up and never stops.
John Wick 2 is a frantically paced film that goes at full speed almost the entire time, but it has as much plot as you actually need. We know John’s motivations and feelings from the first film, and since this picks up right after that we know where he stands. The time saved from having to develop more backstory gives us much more time to dive into the action, where we want to be.
Technical Review: Like the first film, John Wick 2 was shot on ARRI cameras at 2.8K resolution. Unlike the first one, this only has a 2K digital intermediate instead of a 4K one. The loss in resolution is noticeable in scenes where you might see fine details. Down in the caverns of Rome, the walls have texture but it’s smeared over and not as fine as you would expect. The movie is still sharp, but not as detailed as it would be with a 4K DI.
Once again taking place mostly at night, with lots of bright lights and neon, the HDR and WCG effects in John Wick 2 are superb. The image glistens when you have a wet road, while HDR effects are just fantastic.
The soundtrack in Dolby Atmos is true reference class. You’re always put into the action but a pair of scenes stood out. At one point during a fight, John Wick has to eject his magazine and reload. You can hear the magazine eject and track is as it moves from the front to the side and then behind you, moving towards the ground the entire time. It’s a great use of object positioning that Dolby Atmos allows. Near the end of the film, there is a single gunshot that rings out and sounds absolutely incredible. It is much louder than most of the earlier effects but so quick and tight against a quiet background that it startles you much more than you’d expect. Perhaps this sound owes more to the speakers and subwoofer than to the soundtrack, but regardless it as impactful as I’ve heard a single sound effect be.
Special Features: Deleted scenes, nine featurettes, a short, and audio commentary with Keanu Reeves and the director.
Review System: Sony 65” A1E OLED, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.