It’s been a little over two years since we saw him last. People keep asking if he’s back, and with the upcoming release of the long-awaited “John Wick: Chapter Two”, yeah, we’re thinking he’s back!
Under the direction of Chad Stahelski, his one-time stunt double in “The Matrix”, Keanu Reeves returns to the role of the world’s deadliest assassin, this time on a mission that takes him to Rome putting him in the crosshairs of swarms of his fellow contract killers. The sequel arrives as one of the most highly anticipated action thrillers of the year, and in comparing it to the original 2014 sleeper hit, Reeves puts it in terms that martial arts fans can really sink their teeth into, likening the original to a black belt and the sequel to a third-degree black belt.
With words like that, it certainly sounds like the second chapter of the John Wick saga seriously expounds on the original’s ground-breaking cross-pollination of gunplay and grappling-oriented martial arts that instantly made it a modern action classic. Obviously, with the sequel right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to revisit the original, but of course, with such a unique gimmick, one that might be called “Gun-fu-jitsu”, we at KFK think we should go one step further and rank the finest adrenaline-fueled action sequences of John Wick‘s grand debut. So, fasten your seat belts readers and make sure to have a “gold coin” by your side at all times, here are the Top 5 John Wick Fight Scenes! (in descending order)
5. John Wick vs Viggo
Aside from the obvious thrill of seeing the hero and the arch-villain go mano-a-mano, there’s never been a fight sequence in cinema history that was not made better with the addition of rain! It’s finally down to John Wick and his former employer Viggo, a big-time crime boss who had the bad luck to have been the father of the killer of John’s beloved dog. It’s a cliché as old as time for two opponents to throw down their guns and square-off out of a mutual sense of pride and honor, but some things just never get old. There’s also a subtle touch of character development here that displays that John’s ability to consistently come out on top stems from his willingness to endure some severe but momentary pain if it’ll give him the upper-hand in the long run. A fitting way to close out John Wick’s big screen debut but obviously, we’re only just getting started here!
4. John Wick vs Kirill
The moments that truly show what any action hero is capable of are those which put him or her at the greatest disadvantage and seeing if they can adapt to survive. Here, like a Samurai stripped of his katana, John has his hands bound and his sidearms taken, robbing him of his ability to effectively utilize his skills as both a marksman and a judoka – or does it? Like any great assassin, John can turn a hindrance into an advantage in no time flat, and a lack of preparation for that proves to be the undoing of his adversary Kirill, played by Daniel Bernhardt of the “Bloodsport” sequels and “The Matrix Reloaded”. There’s a reason why John Wick is the world’s most feared assassin; even when he’s ostensibly cornered, he can swiftly turn the tables in his favor!
3. John Wick vs Miss Perkins
John’s strongest foe yet comes in the form of his fellow assassin, the bloodthirsty Miss Perkins, played by the lovely Adrianne Palicki. John’s got his work cut out for him handling an opponent whom directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski liken to “a spider” who climbs on his back and simply won’t let go, and it’s a very fitting comparison both literally and figuratively. Not only does Perkins give John a serious run for his money with her skills in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but you get the distinct impression that there was once a romance between these two that probably didn’t end well – wonder why! In the hour and a half of non-stop explosive action that is “John Wick”, the title character’s knockdown, drag-out fight with the thoroughly game ‘Miss Perkins’ is certainly one to take home (in the lingo of ‘The Continental’) a gold coin!
2. The Home Invasion
Up to this point, “John Wick” has been a relatively unassuming experience, aside from the cruel murder of his beloved dog, a parting gift from his deceased wife and John’s last remaining connection to her. All of that changes with the invasion on his home by forces of the villainous crime boss Viggo, and we see that John’s reputation as the world’s greatest assassin was anything but undeserved. Merging gunplay and Judo, the fighting style John employs to stand his ground against his foes is truly all his own and like nothing even seen before in action films, even those that bear the title of “gun fu”. John is clearly a student of zombie movies, as well, given his predilection for always shooting for the head – I dare even say, if John Woo ever directs a zombie film, it’ll look a lot like this. Combine that with John’s excellent abilities as a judoka, and the bad guys never know what hit them!
And in at #1 is…
The Nightclub Fight
This is the point at where the film’s amazing blend of gunplay and martial arts really reaches its pinnacle. Sure, the police and military can train you how to fire with the best of them and anybody can head to a gun range for a little target practice, but John Wick’s methodology of ballistic combat looks as much like the product of years of training in a dojo as his Judo throws do. He’s not just spraying bullets against a sea of enemies and hoping for the best – with each squeeze of the trigger, he’s firing off bullets with the kind of minute targeting skill and pinpoint accuracy more closely associated with acupuncture! This is also where he first gets into it with Kirill, and must rely on his skills as a judoka after being disarmed. “John Wick” was already a certified thrill-ride leading in its first half, but this was the point where audiences around the world knew we were seeing the next level of modern action classics playing out right before our very eyes! The music, not unlike the action here was also vivid, sharp and electrifying – a perfect match!
So, there you have it, our selected Top 5 John Wick Fight Scenes! Let us know your thoughts, faves and your views on the fights and action sequences in John Wick’s first big screen outing.
With “John Wick: Chapter Two” holding a third-degree black belt and ready to hit theaters around the world soon, (US Feb 10th, UK Feb 17th, London on Feb 14th, Valentine’s Day) we’re also nodding yeah, we’re kinda thinking an updated list will be in order…wouldn’t you? Remember to keep tabs on the official John Wick 2 Facebook page!