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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

John Wick (2014) ft. Robb Conlon

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


Guest: Robb Conlon, Founder of Westport Studios (https://www.westportstudiosllc.com/)


Cast:

  • Chad Stahelski, Director

  • Derek Kolstad, Writer

  • Keanu Reeves as Johnathan "John" Wick

  • Michael Nyqvist as Viggo Tarasov

  • Alfie Allen as Iosef Tarasov

  • Adrianne Palicki as Ms. Perkins

  • Bridget Moynahan as Helen Wick

  • Dean Winters as Avi

  • Ian McShane as Winston Scott

  • John Leguizamo as Aurelio

  • Willem Dafoe as Marcus

  • Lance Reddick as Charon

*Recognition:

  • John Wick was released on October 24, 2014.

  • It grossed roughly $86 million against an estimated budget of $20-30 million.

  • John Wick earned a mostly positive reception upon release, attaining praise for the action sequences, direction, visual style, pacing and the performances of the cast, especially Keanu Reeves as John Wick.

  • John Wick currently holds an 86% on RT, a 68 score on Metacritic, and a 3.8 out of 5 on Letterboxd.

  • The franchise has been said to revive the career of Keanu Reeves and gone on to be a video game as was as having 3 sequels with John Wick 4 releasing on March 24, 2023.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Man with nothing to lose returns to the life he gave up.


Plot Summary: One of the world’s top assassins, John Wick (Keanu Reeves), retires after marrying the love of his life. However, her sudden death leaves John in deep mourning, but his wife's last gift, a puppy, seems to give John a reason to move ahead. Nevertheless, when a sadistic mobster and his thugs steal John's prized car and kill the puppy in the process, John sets out to seek vengeance. Will his vengeance drag him back into the world of mayhem, mutilation, and murder, or will he find salvation?


Did You Know:

  • According to Keanu Reeves, he did 90% of his own stunts in the film.

  • Director Chad Stahelski was Keanu Reeves' stunt double in The Matrix movies.

  • Omer Barnea who played Gregori the man responsible for Daisy's death genuinely felt horrible when shooting the scene, and the first thing he'd do as soon as the cameras stopped filming was cuddling and petting the precious puppy.

  • Keanu Reeves' preparation for the role included weapons and martial arts training (eight hours per day for four months).

  • In the original script, the character of John Wick was written with "a man in his mid-sixties" to play the role, given the title character's fabled reputation, ergo, the filmmakers had initially imagined an older actor. However, head of Thunder Road Pictures, Basil Iwanyk, decided against this, stating, "Instead, we decided to look for someone who is not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world."

  • John Wick is referred to as the one who you send to kill "Baba Yaga". In Slavic lore, Baba Yaga is usually portrayed as a witch that lives in a house standing on chicken legs. She is often portrayed in a scary way, but tends to act more like a trickster. Even so, she has been known to be helpful to those who are pure of heart.

  • Lance Reddick plays the Hotel Concierge, whose name is Charon. In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman of Hades. you have to pay Charon for safe passage. Hence why Lance Reddick puts the gold coin in his pocket at the hotel. John in a sense is paying for safe passage.

  • According to a cast interview, both producer Basil Iwanyk and Keanu Reeves reference the number 84 as being the total number of kills by John Wick.

  • Derek Kolstad's grandfather, 88-year-old John Wick, served as an inspiration for the movie's title and character name.

Best Performance: Keanu Reeves (John Wick)/Chad Stahelski (Director)

Best Secondary Performance: Chad Stahelski (Director)/Keanu Reeves (John Wick)/Ian McShane (Winston)/Michael Nyqvist (Viggo)

Most Charismatic Award: Keanu Reeve (John Wick)/Ian McShane (Winston)/Adrianne Palicki (Perkins)

Best Scene:

  • Daisy Dies

  • Aurelio's Shop

  • Viggo Berates Iosef

  • John's House Clean-Up

  • Continental Hotel

  • The Red Circle

  • Ms. Perkins

  • John is Captured

  • Marcus Saves John

  • Safe House

  • Marcus is Killed

  • John v. Viggo

Favorite Scene: The Red Circle/Safe House

Most Indelible Moment: Daisy Dies/"Yeah...I'm thinking I'm back!"


In Memorium:

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

John Wick: When Helen died, I lost everything. Until that dog arrived on my doorstep... A final gift from my wife... In that moment, I received some semblance of hope... an opportunity to grieve unalone... And your son... took that from me...Stole that from me... *Killed that from me*! People keep asking if I'm back and I haven't really had an answer. But now, yeah, I'm thinkin' I'm back. So you can either hand over your son or you can die screaming alongside him!


Viggo Tarasov: It's not what you did, son, that angers me so. It's who you did it to.

Iosef Tarasov: Who? That fucking nobody?

Viggo Tarasov: That "fuckin' nobody"... is John Wick. He once was an associate of ours. They call him "Baba Yaga."

Iosef Tarasov: The Boogeyman?

Viggo Tarasov: Well John wasn't exactly the Boogeyman. He was the one you sent to kill the fucking Boogeyman.


Jimmy: You, uh, workin' again?

John Wick: No, I was just sortin' some stuff out.


John Wick : [Answers the phone] Yes? Hotel Manager : I apologize for calling you at this hour, but we have received a number of grievances from your floor concerning the noise. John Wick : My apologies. I was dealing with an uninvited guest. Hotel Manager : Have you need then of, say, a dinner reservation, perhaps? John Wick : Perhaps. I'll have to get back to you.


Viggo Tarasov: They know you're coming.

John Wick: Of course... But it won't matter.


Winston: Have you thought this through? I mean, chewed down to the bone? You got out once. You dip so much as a pinky back into this pond... you may well find something reaches out... and drags you back into its depths.


Viggo Tarasov: People don't change. You know that. Times, they do.


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 8.17

Impact/Significance: 7

Novelty: 7.33

Classic-ness: 6.83

Rewatchability: 8.33

Audience Score: 8.55 (90% Google, 81% RT)

Total: 47.05


Remaining Questions:

  • How did Iosef not know who John was?

  • Is the reason John goes back to being a hitman because it's secretly the only true love or passion he has left in life?

  • Why did Viggo call John to tell him about Marcus?

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