John Wick Chapter 2 starts mere seconds after the first installment. This makes a nice transition for binge watching. It also means you really need to watch the first one first.
John has a new dog. Someone else still has his car. If you’ve seen the first one, you know how that part goes. This installment brings us further into “the rules of the table.” More specifically “the rules for those under the table.” A big part of this culture isn’t just “the coins” needed for services, it is “the blood oath.”
Someone under the table in need of services that cannot be purchased may offer a marker. Marked on one side with their blood. The other side is for the blood of the holder when the marker has been used. It’s not just the formal marker. When a marker is given it is recorded by hand in a paper ledge. The table knows who holds all markers.
The holder of a marker can call it in at any time for any task in that person’s skill set. Possibly any task at all. Handing out a marker is an act of desperation. Calling in a marker is something to not be done lightly for they are few and precious. When you hold the marker of the best assassin in the world, you wait for an impossible task.
Such is the place John Wick finds himself. His marker being called in for an impossible task. Not impossible for him to complete, just to stay alive afterwards.
Every action you take or don’t has consequences. Odd to hear assassins talk about such things. Good for a film of this kind to discuss them. The rules of the table, for those under the table, enforce them.
You cannot kill nor can you arrange for the killing of one who holds your marker. The penalty is death. Those under the table cannot deliberately harm or kill anyone seated at the table. The penalty is death. You cannot turn down your marker. The penalty is death.
As sequels go, this one does not disappoint. They have the right formula as well. Expose a little more of this murky world with each installment.