There aren’t many movie series where a single character has the ability to rack up an extremely high kill count, especially for a franchise’s first feature film. However, Keanu Reeves’ portrayal of “retired” hitman John Wick is proof of a character that is focused, precise, and ready to fight at all times.
Aside from horror villains like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, and Michael Myers (who each have respectable kill counts), plus action legends Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Rambo and Commando images are examples of movies in which a lot of bad guys get satisfying deaths), what sets John Wick apart among action characters and killers is his unique ease and skill when it comes to taking on multiple enemies at once.
John Wick’s feature debut features the ex-assassin, who has just lost his wife Helen and mourns her death. Meanwhile, Wick gets a puppy named Daisy (a gift from his late wife) so he won’t cry alone, but soon after, Wick gets beaten up by Iosef (the son of a Russian mobster named Viggo Tarasov ) and his associate, who ends up killing his dog and stealing his car (a 1969 Ford Mustang). This causes Wick to seek revenge and kill again, returning to the life he thought was completely behind him.
What makes the first image of John Wick intriguing is that the kill count its protagonist originally had in the storyline was only a few people (about three kills). However, Wick has 77 kills in total by the end of the film. A few kills would no doubt be satisfying, but that wouldn’t do the character justice, as one of the film’s main goals is to show off Wick’s combat and shooting skills, and audiences would expect to see a deadly character and able. it shouldn’t be spoiled.
Wick’s first series of murders occur when a team of assassins infiltrate his elegant New Jersey home. This moment introduces viewers to Wick’s sniper skills, which are very accurate as he aims and shoots multiple targets in the head and chest, while moving quickly to avoid getting caught and quickly changing clips. of his pistol. Wick also reveals his fighting skills, particularly when he breaks a man’s neck and stabs a man with his own knife.
Perhaps the most memorable kill streak from Wick’s first outing is the entire nightclub sequence (which Keanu practiced and memorized in a day). When Wick goes after Iosef and his friends, he’s forced to go through Viggo’s team (and has most of his victims in this scene). Wick is able to demonstrate his ability to infiltrate enemies by sneaking up on them and stabbing henchmen with his knife (a Rambo-like style) before using his pistol when fully detected.
The sequence is an entertaining mix of martial arts (Jiu-Jitsu) and shooters (a homage to John Woo’s high-energy Hong Kong action footage). The way Wick can punch and shoot guys at the same time is a testament to his skill and training, as the action isn’t just a series of well-choreographed moves, but also Wick’s story as a deadly killer.
Besides his pistols, Wick also reveals his ability to take down enemies with a large automatic weapon, notably in an action scene in a church in which he aims and shoots men from all sides like a crucifix (up, down, left right) . Wick also proves he can kill men not only indoors but also outdoors, such as a scene in which he shoots several Viggo men around a number of vehicles (effectively using them to cover).
There’s also a pivotal sequence in which Wick expertly uses a sniper rifle to take out Iosef’s security details in a safe house, while pretending to be one of the henchmen by speaking Russian into the microphone. This is also the only scene in which he uses an explosive device to take out certain targets, providing the perfect trap to kill Iosef last.
Wick has several intense one-on-one kills (many of which get shot and stabbed), but two of those kills are his most intimate. His second fight with Kirill (who gave Wick a run for his money by giving him a beating in their first confrontation) is one of the most physical battles in the movie. Kirill proves he’s one of the few guys who can take on Wick and give him a tough match. However, unfortunately for Kirill, Wick manages to defeat him in their second battle by strangling him.
Wick’s final fight with Viggo isn’t as physical as many of Wick’s other fights, but it is very personal as the two men worked together but became enemies once Iosef ruined Wick’s moment of peace. in his life. While Viggo is a badass and manages to land some punches, he isn’t as strong as Wick and uses a knife to try and kill the master assassin. Wick even allows himself to be stabbed by Viggo’s knife in order to gain the upper hand and finishes Viggo off by breaking his arm and stabbing him.
Of course, Wick will continue to kill even more men in the sequels (John Wick: Chapter 2 with a whopping 128 kills, and 94 kills in John Wick 3: Parabellum). However, 77 kills for a feature debut is massive and displays John Wick’s power and precision as a master assassin. The number of corpses will surely be high again in John Wick: Chapter 4.
MORE: 5 Action Lessons Franchises Can Learn From John Wick
The first John Wick movie had real emotional stakes, however, the sequels seem to have lost sight of that.
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