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John Wick I, II, III


The John Wick franchise started in 2014, followed by Chapter 2 in 2017 and Chapter 3: Parabellum in 2019. Two more films are scheduled. This franchise is responsible for re-launching the career of Keanu Reeves and is one of the best action franchises of all time. Do you know that feeling when your wife dies of a terminal illness but has a dog dropped off at your house a few days after her death? Now imagine someone steals your prized car and kills your dog just days later. That is the motivation that brings John Wick out of retirement and back into the ranks of elite assassins.

The first film tests the waters to see if audiences would follow along. It is compact relative to the subsequent films with a small universe. Each successive film expands on the universe that John operates in. We learn about The High Table, contracts, tokens, and more. You are never overwhelmed by the back story or an exploration of the universe, it is spoon-fed in appropriate amounts.

The gunplay in these films is second to none. Guns run out of bullets and must be reloaded once the clip is empty. Bullets do not magically appear but are carried. Sometimes guns of victims are picked up and used. There is also a lot of hand-to-hand combat and grappling, all choreographed magnificently with fewer camera switches than most similar films. Then there are the knives, swords, axes, and anything else that can be used as a blade, a pencil perhaps. These films are based around the fight sequences, and they deliver.

This is one of my favorite film franchises and stands up to rewatching. It may even be a reason to get Peacock, for a month. There are few better action films made in the last few decades and there are few bigger stars than Keanu Reeves. He would not have been in Sponge Bob nor Always Be My Maybe without being John Wick.

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