The Baba Yaga is back! With guns . . . Lots of guns.

And so are the reviews! At last! A review after so many months of static and re-posts . . .

But anyway . . . back to this brutal, action packed tour de force. This year’s The Raid 2!

After killing a member of the international assassin’s guild and a $14 million price tag on his head, the super assassin (Keanu Reeves) is now the target of hit men and women everywhere.

“Wasn’t just a puppy”.

A franchise I never expected or thought I needed in my life. Woah.

Following straight on from the events of Chapter 2; we join Wick (with his adorable dog in tow) desperately racing against the clock to use any favour, grudge, and shiny gold coin to get him out of the city.

Tense, nail biting and oh so violent! The first 40 minutes left me breathless with Wick using any (and I mean any) object/obstacle to stay alive.

I see you’ve played knifey, spoony before?

I have to commend the set pieces and stunts. Brilliantly executed with some insane gun-fu choreography. And Dan Laustesen’s cinematography?! It really was a visual feast for the eyes appeasing the gore junkie and film fanatic. Seriously, the neon-infused battle royale in the hotel was like something out of a Tekken video game.

I feared repetition with all the body take downs but that soon subsided with every new setting thrown into the mix from libraries to antique shops and stables.

One particular highlight involved an almost cartoon-esque sequence with Wick rapidly making up a gun out of old antique pistols to dispose of an impending assassin running up the stairs.

It was great to see some new faces. Angelica Huston was brilliant as the cold-hearted Director. Providing some surprisingly reveals about the Baba Yaga’s origins.

Asia Kate Dillon (Billions) impressed as The Adjudicator. Delivering enough pantomime villainy to the chaos. My only complaint . . . The endless introductions. Sheesh. We get it. You’re ‘The Adjudicator’! Seriously, you could have done a drinking game!

However, the real scene stealer was Mark Dascascos’ Zero. A truly eccentric super villain. Deluded, ruthless and yet oh so entertaining. A fan boy savouring every conflict with the exhausted hitman. Lapping up every exchange and moment of combat.

I was a little disappointed at the lack of Laurence Fishburne and no, not just because I wanted more Neo/Morpheus confrontations; I just loved the man’s OTT personality as The Bowery King.

Ian McShane and Lance Reddick delivered as usual. Bringing some much needed humour to the blood fest that really pushed that 15 certificate.

However (Oh no!) . . .

It wasn’t all perfect. Unfortunately the adrenaline junkie in me got a little impatient when Halle Berry’s Sofia made her introduction.

Despite providing some interesting depth, fractious chemistry and more mystery around Wick’s past, I felt the pace lagging around the middle act.

However, that soon changed when Berry brought her two furry companions (Dogs. I’m talking about dogs, you cheeky devils).

A motorcycle chase sequence involving samurai swords was hampered by some shoddy CGI that killed a little bit of the fun.

And the final scenes pushed it for me. Ironic considering the mayhem that had ensued before and the fact that this whole thing spiralled from a Mustang and a cute little beagle.


But despite my grumbles (Nothing has changed there), this was still one hell of an action movie that was worth the wait with Neo showing he still has the moves.

And as it stands, this has already jumped into my top 5 of 2019.