We here at Inverse spend a lot of time thinking about John Wick. The 2014 Keanu Reeves hit is fascinatingly lowbrow, low-budget, and high yield. Our feeling is that if we understand it — in a deep holistic way — we’ll have access to a broader, bigger truth. We take this seriously.
And now there’s a sequel coming. So we take that seriously as well. We think about John Wick 2.
Here’s what we want from the most important upcoming film in the dog-revenge cryptocurrency genre:
Brock Wilbur: Why can’t those dudes from Freakonomics explain this secret underground murder-currency and what the conversion rates are? The biggest surprise of the original film is this almost Vampiric underground society that feels more Anne Rice than Assassins. Secret assassin societies with secret assassin society behaviors moves this series closer to being able to crossover with the bullet-bending Wanted and I think that’s what we all want. Or maybe something with skeletons. Everyone loves skeletons. I can’t be alone on this.
Emily Gaudette: Even more assassins to contend with! I’d like to see an elderly assassin who knows John Wick as they all seem to, or just someone whose cover is really surprising. An old timey shopkeep? A rotund bus driver? A skeleton? (Brock: “See? Fuckin’ Skeletons.) I’d also like to see a really vicious and violent scene take place where a crowd of children is watching, and then when John stabs the last baddie through the eye with a pen, the kids cheer like they’re at Disneyland. More than one of them could be holding a balloon. Also, I’m hoping to hear Keanu say a line with as much false excitement as he did here.
Maybe there’s a scene with two cosmonauts in a Russian space center, floating above Earth, and they get a report from the Kremlin that one of them accidentally stepped on John Wick’s puppy’s tail on the way into the spacecraft, and they both look at each other with fear just radiating out of their eyes. They press the airlock button together and go shooting out into the void.
Sam Eifling: More of the Continental Hotel. In fact, every time I read about filming happening somewhere in Brooklyn, I get pissed, because that means they’re going to set scenes outside the Continental. Here you have an assassin hotel where the only house rule is No Assassinating People and still it’s a carnival of attempted (and successful) hits. That sleazy-hot bar in the basement — Ian McShane’s evil ass is still down there somewhere, handing out tips on how to find/kill gangsters and tipping gold coins on every third negroni. We know Lance Reddick hasn’t been doing dick-else but deadlifting and drinking protein shakes since The Wire wound down, so putting him back behind the front desk as the stately manager-fixer-shusher is a must. That weary taxidermist of a doctor they have on staff — what’s his back story? He’s like the Dr. Nick of hardcore underworld triage surgery. The only acceptable excuse for not planting the John Wick sequel deeper in that universe is if Lionsgate is intending to license that section of the property off for a standalone 13-episode Netflix series in 2018.
Corban Goble: Even though John Wick is sweet and I think about it every day, but there’s a part of it that’s hard to stomach: beaglecide. My parents even have a beagle named Daisy, so this aspect of the plot — while it probably helps me relate to Wick’s rage and get into the zone — is difficult to revisit. At least Theon got what was coming to him (his dick cut off) on another other show. Next time, let’s focus the murder on people that deserve it. (Or not. Whatever.)
Matthew Strauss: More cameos from The Wire alumni. Lester Freamon and Lieutenant Daniels were key players, especially when they showed that Daniels’ line in every trailer. I want the b-team now. I want Snoop catching bodies. I want Ziggy drinking himself silly at the Continental. I want Prez to accidentally shoot someone. I also want my mom to finally take me to my birthday dinner at Burger King. We’re just asking for things, right?
Eric Francisco: Anyone who saw The Man of Tai Chi knows Keanu Reeves can still go HAM, as if John Wick didn’t already prove it. I’d like to see Wick fight an antagonist that can throw down, hand-to-hand. I want JW2 to really turn up the volume on the action choreography. I’m imagining any one of the guys from The Raid and I’m pretty sure all of cinema can stop at that point because no one will ever top it.
Andrew Burmon: They’ve been shooting this thing in Prospect Heights and Williamsburg and basically fucking up my commute. So I think the least John Wick can do at this point is stimulate the local economy by giving locals roles. Here are some ideas: Noah Baumbach plays a nervous safe-cracker; Jennifer Egan plays a trigger-happy bank robber; Steve Buscemi plays a Jack Russell Terrier; Lil’ Kim plays an over-the-hill bouncer looking for one last bounce; Eliot Gould plays himself; Harry Chapin plays a zombie.
Nicholas Bashore: As long as John Wick 2 has another nightclub scene? I’m sold. Wick just walking into a heavily defended club by himself and shooting his way through is flawless. It reminds me of the good old Matrix days mixed with some Transporter action sequences — I even think I saw him channeling a little Neo when he hit that dance floor.
Ben Guarino: The ending is just Keanu, bruised and bloodied and victorious, and puppies. So many puppies. Puppies as far as the eye can see. A hundred years of solitude and puppies. Like that scene in American Beauty, except instead of the naked girl it’s Keanu and you can’t really see K-dong because of the puppies; and he’s being submerged in a plane of squirming, happy puppies and they’re licking him and we’re crying and so happy for John Wick because, Jesus, dude’s earned it. You’ve earned it, Keanu. We’ve earned it. Together.