Tag Archives: Keanu Reeves

Reviews: ‘John Wick 2′ twice as great; ’50 Shades Darker’ dumb sequel

“John Wick: Chapter 2” (R)

After the blistering success of the first film in 2014, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is back with a vengeance in “John Wick: Chapter 2,” a sequel far superior than the already entertaining original.

The plot is simple: Wick is trying to return to retirement with his new dog when a powerful mobster from his past insists he honors a marker — a blood oath to repay a debt — and wants him to carry out a hit. As Wick quickly discovers, though, no hit is ever clean. Before he knows is, Wick is the target, and that’s when the killing machine inside of him kicks into high gear.

The action is frenetic and completely engrossing as Wick takes out the bad guys one by one, whether be with the use of guns, hand-to-hand combat or even a pencil. The 52-year-old Reeves is spectacular form and incredible shape as Wick, and easily carries the movie on his own as the body count piles up in the hundreds.

There is one disappointing aspect to “John Wick: Chapter 2,” as those expecting the big “Matrix” reunion between Reeves and Laurence Fishburne is short-lived. Studio marketers are definitely guilty of a bait-and-switch movie here, since Fishburne – while brilliant – is only in the movie for about  5 minutes.

Hopefully he will be a big part of “John Wick Chapter 3” because a another sequel is inevitable — and unlike most sequels, is completely welcome.

Lammometer: 9 out of 10.

New on Tim Lammers’ YouTube Channel …

“50 Shades Darker” (R)

It should be called “50 Shades Dumber.” Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are back in this brutally boring sequel to “50 Shades of Grey,” a dull and predictable “romance” movie about the further sexcapades of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.

The movie is like a bad, kinky soap opera, as Christian stalks, er, tries to win Anastasia back after she left him at the hapless conclusion of the first movie.

Any attempts at finding any chemistry between Johnson and Dornan remain futile is “50 Shades Darker,” and the acting is as flat as it was in the first film. Dornan is completely out of his depth, and Johnson, who was actually pretty good in the first film, is terrible here. The only spark in the film is Kim Basinger, who goes the subtle route to play a psychotic older woman who damaged Grey in a previous master-submissive relationship.

Lammometer: 3 out of 10

Movie reviews: ‘Keanu,’ ‘Green Room’

Warner Bros.

By Tim Lammers

“Keanu” (R) 1 star (out of four)

Former Comedy Central sketch comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (who were unfortunately tasked with following the brilliant Dave Chappelle) make a weak transition to the big screen with “Keanu,” a painfully unfunny buddy comedy about a pair of suburban nerds who pose as fearsome drug dealers in order to get Peele’s stolen kitten back from a street gang.

The kitten – named Keanu – is no doubt cute, but the rest of the film is a flagrant barrage of F-bombs and N-words wrapped up in a juvenile premise that’s somehow supposed to be a parody of actor Keanu Reeves’ hit revenge thriller “John Wick.” Reeves, naturally, makes a cameo as the voice of the kitten when one of the characters slips into a drug-induced haze. Apart from an inspired cameo from actress Anna Faris (playing herself), “Keanu” is a total dud.

Reviews on KQRS-FM, beginning 12 minutes in.

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“Green Room” (R) 3 stars (out of four)

“Star Trek” and “X-Men” star Patrick Stewart takes a brilliant career detour to the dark side in “Green Room,” a brutal crime thriller about a down-and-out punk rock band whose members are forced to fend for their lives after they stumble onto a murder scene in the green room at a backwoods Oregon club.

Stewart plays Darcy, the club owner and neo-Nazi leader who orders the hit on the musicians, while Anton Yelchin stars as band’s leader who tries to devise an escape plan. “Green Room” isn’t perfect – the violence is too excessive and there are some silly bits of ill-timed comic relief – but overall, it’s a solid nail-biter.

Reviews: Tim Lammers talks ‘Birdman,’ ‘John Wick’ with KARE-TV, more

Birdman and Michael Keaton

Tim reviews the comedy drama “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” and the revenge thriller “John Wick” on KARE-TV in Minneapolis with Diana Pierce below. Also, you can read Tim’s review on BringMeTheNews.com and hear Tim review the films on WCCO-AM (17 minutes in), KTWIN-FM, KKLN-FM and KSCR-FM. Also read Tim’s interview with “Birdman” writer-director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu HERE.

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