John Wick: Chapter 2 is an Absurd Catch 22

Image: supplied by Ster Kinekor

When I looked up John Wick: Chapter 2 on IMDb (Internet Movie Database) the rating for this film was 8.2. ‘Ooh,’ I thought, ‘it must be good.’

After seeing this ‘action, crime, thriller’ I was less enthusiastic and thought I’d investigate how the IMDb rating system works. This is a statement on their website:

Weighted Average Ratings

IMDb publishes weighted vote averages rather than raw data averages. Various filters are applied to the raw data in order to eliminate and reduce attempts at vote stuffing by people more interested in changing the current rating of a movie than giving their true opinion of it.

The exact methods we use will not be disclosed. This should ensure that the policy remains effective. The result is a more accurate vote average.

 Votes are posted to IMDb by viewers and quite detailed viewer demographics are listed on the site. And when I looked it up the critic reviews’ metascore was listed as 75 for John Wick: Chapter 2 (compared at the same time to, for instance, Trainspotting T2’s rating at 7.8 and metascore at 62).

I was pleased to see that the critic reviews ranged from as low as 40 (Trainspotting’s lowest was 50). Pleased because I loathed this movie. Knowing now how the IMDb system works I feel free to state with a clear conscience that I am not trying to ‘stuff’ up the votes. I am simply adding my own (very low) vote to the others’.

In this film John Wick (played by a toneless Keanu Reeves) has exited a criminal organisation (something like the Italian mob) but is handed a ‘marker’ that forces him to re-enter it. He is tasked with killing one person, and slays a whole lot of others in his getaway attempt. He does this using stashed arms and fighting off baddies who conveniently attack him one at a time. Wick’s killing of the target enacts a ‘marker’ on his head in return and so this catch 22 cycle (unfortunately) continues. I was very sad to see that Chapter 2 may easily give way to Chapter 3.

JW2_D43_3034.cr2

Image: supplied by Ster Kinekor

The phrase ‘Catch 22’, incidentally, was created by Joseph Heller who published a book by the same name in 1961. Catch 22 means ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’, something Heller’s American army characters experience over and over again in his story. Shortly before watching John Wick: Chapter 2 I listened to Catch 22 on Audible. The narration was brilliant and the story was cleverly written in a style that resembled catch 22 itself. It was ridiculously funny in parts and this humour belied the atrocities – and pointlessness – of war. So, entertainment and food for thought there. I found the style so frustrating, however, that it was hard to keep going (I don’t know how the author did). But then again, that may be what Heller was trying to achieve.

I think viewers are supposed to see John Wick: Chapter 2 as entertaining (and clearly from the IMDb votes many people did) and to admire this clever assassin. I just found the whole thing ridiculous and pointless. No food for thought there.

 

The Legacy is fast-paced with surprising revelations

A review by Brenda Daniels.

This review is the first of three posts for The Legacy’s Blog Book Tour on A Feast of Tales. 

To read more about the tour and Melissa Delport, the author of The Legacy, click here.

legacy cover

The Legacy, by South African, KZN-based author, Melissa Delport, is the first book in The Legacy Trilogy.

An exciting futuristic adventure, The Legacy is set in a post-nuclear America in which rebels pit their strength against an evil government. This Resistance is ultimately led by feisty Rebecca Davis, a uniquely “gifted” leader who is also the romantic interest of the story.

Rebecca gets closer than anyone to the enemy, President of the New United States Eric Dane  – by marrying him. This choice comes at great cost to her relationship with childhood sweetheart, Aidan, and involves using dangerous covert strategies and superhuman abilities. These artificially designed abilities are used by both warring parties and make for some thrilling fight sequences.

Fast-paced action, cliff-hanger chapters and surprising revelations keep readers hooked. I enjoyed becoming engrossed in Delport’s imaginative future world and I look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy, The Legion.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are now available at all good bookstores and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015.