The masterpiece franchise: John Wick *Spoiler Alerts*

The masterpiece franchise: John Wick *Spoiler Alerts*

The action franchise, John Wick, has recently released its fourth movie, John Wick: Chapter 4, on March 24.  

 Firstly, in shocking news the actor Lance Reddick who plays Charon, the Continental Hotel concierge, in the John Wick movies along with other known roles in The Wire. Fringe, Bosch, died at the age of 60, on March 17, due to natural causes. Keanu Reeves, the star actor in the franchise John Wick tells Deadline, ¨Lance was a beautiful person. And to have the chance to work with him over 10 years and four films is something that is very special to me.¨ During the premiere of the film, co-stars wore blue ribbons in honor of Reddick. The film is dedicated to Reddick in honor of his memory and work. 

How did the John Wick franchise gain so much popularity? 

John Wick: Chapter 1, released October 24, 2014, made 14 million dollars in its debut with a 20–30-million-dollar budget. The film was recognized as one of the most successful action movie series of all time.

¨ The movie is action-packed and shows realism in all aspects of people hurting people mentally and physically. Keanu Reeves, a well-known actor playing the lead role, Neo in the science fiction series the Matrix had re-appeared in a new action film about the traumatic experience of losing the lives of his baby daughter and girlfriend and other family drama. The story shocked the internet and made them ready to see their iconic matrix star in a new action film. According to Business Insider,¨ 

In 2014, Reeves had not led a box-office hit in over a decade. He had starred in several critical duds, such as “Constantine ” and 2008’s “The Day the Earth Stood Still” remake. Despite being a 1990s action star — with “Point Break,” “Speed,” and “The Matrix” — Reeves, then almost 50 years old, was an unlikely candidate. 

The story follows John Wick, this legendary assassin who had retired from his career to be with his wife. His wife died due to an illness having left a puppy behind for Wick to have as company and remembrance. A random mobster (Iosef Tarasov) and his company steal John wick’s car and end up killing his puppy in a home invasion. 

This moment gives the audience the motive to be on John Wicks’ side, taking all things a man values and killing or destroying them after taking a step back to live a peaceful life. This makes the movie relatable in the sense of someone losing a loved one or having something taken away from them and what they would like to do is take revenge for what happened which is displayed by a world-renowned assassin with nothing left to lose. 

John Wick hunts down everyone connected to the home invasion, stealing his car and killing his puppy, contacting connections to gather information. Isef Tarasov, aka Viggoś son (Viggos Tarasov a notorious Russian Crime boss), started trouble for his father due to his actions against John Wick. Viggos, being scared of the tales of Wick’s murders, sends a dozen men to assassinate Wick at his home. John then finishes them off and calls cleaners from headquarters to clean up the house. John wick has a hit put out for him. Having attacked at the hotel which is cause for excommunicado and death he found out information to track down and finish Viggo and his son along with any accomplices or people in his way. 

Onto Chapter 2, word spreads of Wick being back in business and Santonio D’Antonio shows up with a gold marker asking for an old favor to be repaid. John, wanting to decline, is bound by the Continental code to accept the assignment at hand and assassinate D´Antonioś´s sister, an Italian Camorra crime syndicate. Santino wanted Gianna’s (his sister’s) seat at the high table. John broke two of Continental rules: Honoring every marker and no killing on Continental grounds which he broke by killing Santonio on Continental grounds. Wick is now set on “excommunicado having broken those rules, all underworld privileges being revoked and anyone who is allied with him will receive similar punishment. 

John Wick with a 14 million bounty on his head, breaking 2 rules of the Continental gunning down a member of the high table, and being ¨excommunicado¨ must fight his way as the countdown for the bounty sets in play. Fighting assassins along the street already tired and injured after his previous might in Chapter 2. 

The High Table Adjudicator played by Asia Kate Dillion assesses John Wick’s situation regarding what happened and who helped him. Sent to see the death of John Wick. In Chapter 2 we see the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) help John due to a past debt and out of agreement with their feelings toward the high table giving John seven bullets. He is punished by the High Table by receiving seven cuts from the Adjudicator’s blade and being sought out as a dead man.   

Chapters 2 and 3 have a 40 million production budget. The opening weekend of John Wick: Chapter 1 having 14 million opening weekend and 43 million in Domestic Box Office and 76 million worldwide Box Office. As John wick gains recognition and talk spreads about the amount of action and the story plot the budget grows for the following movies and so does the opening weekend Revenue. Chapter 4 opening is 25.8 million with an opening record of 73.5 million and a worldwide start being 137.5 million. Chapter 4 has the highest budget among its franchise at 100 million.

Keanu Reeves has invested months of training for each movie and specifically 3 months of training for Chapter 4. Learning Judo, Jujitsu, armed and unarmed combat training. He had learned martial arts for The Matrix franchise so he was familiar with the process of training and being the best at his given role. According to Business Insider, ¨Reeves brought Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. They had directed as stuntmen and fight coordinators for the ¨Matrix¨ movies but had never directed a feature film. Leitch was an uncredited co-director.¨ According to Reeves does 90-95 percent of his stunts. Just look up on youtube Keanu Reeves’s training for John wick, multiple videos, and clips will show his intensive training with firearms, weapons, cars, combat training, etc.

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 started out action-packed with John Wick in desperation to gain freedom and live a simple life in retirement once more. With the high table visiting Winston and Charonn to discuss their relations with Wick Charon was killed and the New York Continental was destroyed along with Winston’s privileges and title placing him to be excommunicado. As John wick goes to an old friend’s Continental to hide out in the meantime word spreads and the high table sets another old friend of Wicks as his assassin. The high table tracks down John Wick at the Osaka Continental resulting in The Continental owner (John Wick’s friend Koji Shimazu) fighting the table and the assassin Caine (Wick’s old friend). Koji dies at the hands of Cain leaving his daughter (also an assassin) out for revenge. John wick visits Winston and the Bowery King planning how to gain both of their freedom. 

John travels back to his family in order to gain backing in an attempt to challenge the high table for a duel for his and Winston’s freedom. As the table begins to discover his motives Wick’s bounty rises to 40 million in hopes that one of the hundreds of assassins would stop him. Throughout the movie, we see John desperately wanting to live freely although the words people say that he is a born killer and that is all he is meant to do or be. After having beaten the duel against the high table saving Winston, killing the high table member Marchese de Gramont and saving his old friend Caine. After being attacked by more than a hundred people in chapter 4 his kill count is 140 but with critical injuries and gunshots due to the duel he chooses to die on the steps in the final moments remembering his wife and the happy life he lived. The ending scene was Winston, the Bowery king, and his blue nose pit staring at his grave. ¨John wick Loving husband, next to his wife ¨Helen Wick Loving wife.¨ The story ended beautifully with John wick being portrayed as a man wanting to find peace. The soft spot Wick has for dogs shines through when the bounty hunter (Nobody)and his companion dog track down Wick but when Wick was given the opportunity to kill him or save Nobody’s dog he saves the dog earning the respect of the hunter. This movie received 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and I couldn’t agree more.