The John Wick franchise has taken the action movie genre by storm since the release of the first movie in 2014. Starring Keanu Reeves as the titular character, the series has become known for its intense action sequences, complex world-building, and memorable characters. With four movies in the franchise so far, there’s a lot to explore. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the John Wick franchise, looking at each movie in detail and analyzing the themes, characters, and action sequences that make it such a beloved series.
Who is John Wick?
John Wick is the titular character of the John Wick franchise, played by Keanu Reeves. He is a retired hitman who is drawn back into the world of assassins after the death of his beloved dog. John is known as the “Boogeyman” among his peers in the underworld, due to his fearsome reputation and deadly skills.
John is a complex character, with a tragic backstory that is slowly revealed over the course of the franchise. He is a man of few words, preferring to let his actions speak for him. Despite his violent profession, John has a strong moral compass and values loyalty above all else. He is fiercely protective of those he cares about, as seen in his love for his dog and his loyalty to his friend Winston in the second and third movies.
John is a highly skilled fighter, proficient in a variety of martial arts and weapons. He is known for his precise and efficient fighting style, which makes him a formidable opponent in any situation. Despite his age and injuries sustained throughout the series, John is relentless in his pursuit of justice and vengeance.
Chapter 1: John Wick (2014) All 3 Parts in Amazon Prime Video
The first John Wick movie introduced audiences to the character of John Wick and the world he inhabits. After the death of his wife, John has retired from his life as a hitman and is trying to move on. However, his life is turned upside down when his beloved dog, a gift from his late wife, is killed by Iosef Tarasov (played by Alfie Allen), the son of a Russian mafia boss.
The movie is a masterclass in action filmmaking, with director Chad Stahelski bringing his experience as a stunt coordinator to the table. The action sequences are fast-paced and brutal, with Reeves performing many of his own stunts. The film also introduces the concept of the Continental, a neutral territory for criminals where no “business” is allowed to be conducted.
Chapter 2: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
The second John Wick movie picks up shortly after the events of the first film. John is once again pulled back into the world of assassins when he is asked to repay a debt he owes to Santino D’Antonio (played by Riccardo Scamarcio). However, things quickly spiral out of control when Santino double-crosses John and puts a $7 million bounty on his head.
Chapter 2 builds on the world-building of the first movie, introducing new characters and expanding on the mythology of the Continental. We also see more of John’s past and the reasons why he left his life as a hitman. The action sequences are even more elaborate and inventive, with the highlight being a fight scene in a hall of mirrors.
Chapter 3: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)
The third John Wick movie picks up immediately after the events of Chapter 2. John is now on the run, with a $14 million bounty on his head. With the High Table, the organization that oversees the world of assassins, out to get him, John has to fight his way through wave after wave of assassins to survive.
Chapter 3 is perhaps the most action-packed movie in the series, with some of the most creative and jaw-dropping action sequences ever put on film. The film also introduces new characters, including Halle Berry’s Sofia, an old friend of John’s who helps him in his quest for survival.
Chapter 4: John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)
John Wick seeks revenge against the High Table and goes on a mission to kill its members, leading to the destruction of the Continental and the death of his friend Charon. He enlists the help of crime families to challenge the High Table and ultimately defeats them in a duel, but not before sustaining fatal injuries. Winston is reinstated as manager of the New York Continental, and John is buried next to his late wife.