Keanu Reeves is no stranger to action flicks. His most memorable performances can be found in that very genre, whether it be The Matrix trilogy, Speed, or most recently, John Wick, his latest cult favorite. But the actor doesn’t just play Neo, Jack Traven, or the titular John Wick; he becomes them, and that means flexing his own physical skillsets to step into the shoes of these combat-ready characters. Reeves has long been known for doing most of his own stunt work, and he will be doing so again as he transforms into the stylish and deadly assassin for the upcoming sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2 (in theaters this Friday).
In the 2014 prequel, John Wick took a ridiculously fun premise—of an ex-assassin coming out from retirement to avenge the death of his adorable dog—and coated it with a hyper-violent schtick straight out of a video game fantasy, using a mixed martial arts style nicknamed “gun fu.” In the sequel, which finds Chad Stahelski back in the director’s chair, John Wick becomes an international hitman of mystery, and sets off to Rome to stop a deadly killer trying to seize control of an international assassins’ guild. There’s apparently no rest for the vengeful, because just as John Wick washes the blood off his hands from the trail of wrath in the first movie and gets ready to resume normal life, he gets tapped by an Italian gangster to whom he owes a blood oath favor.
When in Rome, he faces off with a slew of deadly killers including Cassian and Ares, played by actor/rapper Common and Orange Is the New Black’s Ruby Rose—both new to the John Wick universe. Also new to the movie is Laurence Fishburne (who, of course, starred alongside Reeves in The Matrix movies as Morpheus), who will portray a mysterious man by the name of Bowery King. In John Wick: Chapter 2, Reeves is also accompanied by a new canine sidekick (this time a pitbull), who hopefully faces a more fortunate fate than his former pup. As John Wick gets dragged out of retirement once again, Keanu Reeves, too, got back in the ring for an even more intensive workout.