Keanu Reeves is on a bit of a comeback — not so much at the box office but at making actually good films (that sometimes do well at the box office). Forthcoming is “The Bad Batch,” for “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” tyro Ana Lily Amirpour; there’s Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon.” And most of all there’s last year’s “John Wick,” an acrobatic revenger in which his legendary assassin emerges from retirement to kill everyone, all because some jerk killed his impossibly, unbelievably cute dog.
“John Wick” did pretty good during its American theatrical release, if not the kind that births franchises. But it’s getting a sequel (and maybe more) anyway, possibly because the first wasn’t too expensive, and possibly just because, no matter what we’ve done, humanity deserves this. Keanu even tweeted out what is close enough to an official go:
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— Keanu Reeves (@OfficialKeanu) July 23, 2015
Of course, “John Wick” had more than just cute mutt-avenging. Directed by longtime stunt choreographers, it’s an analog action grinder (with what look like digital head-shots) where you can actually see Reeves’ balletic moves because they aren’t being cut to ribbons. And it had a mile-wide sense of humor: There’s an actual secret society of assassins, complete with its own hotel, speakeasy and currency — world-building at its goofiest. And Reeves, though mostly a taciturn and fuming man of action, does get to launch into a hilarious monologue that gains in cartoonish intensity as it goes on. All this and the funniest ever delivery of the word “Oh.”
Anyway, as with most reporting on movies that probably don’t even have a script yet, this is all up in the air and could conceivably crash and burn. But let’s hope this one gets to theaters before we’re all spirit-crushed by “Space Jam 2.”
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge