The surprise 2014 hit John Wick brought Keanu Reeves, 52, back to the movies in uber action gongfu mode.
With John Wick: Chapter 2 opening tomorrow, it amps up the action and body count.
Reeves' titular hitman is the kind of hero who dispatches scores of bad guys in a flurry, then limps into the next scene without a scratch, blood artfully smeared on his forehead.
I cannot wait for the next one, which is nicely set up in this sequel, which sees Wick pulled out of retirement to honour a blood debt from a gangster (played by Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio).
US rapper-actor Common plays the bodyguard of a woman Wick kills and is the second-best thing in the film next to Reeves.
Chapter 2 is directed again by Chad Stahelski, who was Reeves' stunt double in the 1999 sci-fi megahit The Matrix.
Reeves thawed from his initial chilliness when he seemed to recall the purpose of our interview at the London West Hollywood hotel in Beverly Hills.
We talked about a scene shot in a hall of mirrors.
Said Reeves: "They built a mirror room. There were different kinds of environments, tunnels, wide rooms, revolving doors. The director was interested in reflections and the colour palette, which he thought would have a direct connection to the content of the story."
Wick does not have much of a back story. A deliberate move, said Reeves.
"We were really interested in moving forward and keeping the mystery about him."
Training was similar to that of the first film, but more intense.
"I still did judo and jujitsu and still trained in the car, and I did different kinds of training with the weapons. But because I had gone through the process the first time, in the second film I was better at it. So I could go to another level," said Reeves.
Chapter 3 is dependent on the box-office performance, said Reeves.
He said: "From my point of view, everyone involved would love to be able to continue the story. I love the character and the world, and I want to live in that world and play that character. I want to know what happens to John Wick, and I am rooting for the guy.
"It is up to the audience."
What about a love interest the next time around?
This article was first published on Feb 15, 2017.
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