John Wick (2014-ongoing)
Directed By Chad Stahelski
The film franchise, John Wick, isn’t a movie that I had a personal interest in watching initially. It was on HBO one day, and I decided to check it out, and I’m glad I did because it was incredibly entertaining from the action sequences to the whole storyline and setting.
The series is centered on the life of a retired hitman, John Wick (Keanu Reeves). In Chapter 1, after his wife died, he goes on a rampage seeking vengeance after his car was stolen and his dog was killed (which happened to be a gift from his deceased wife). While in Chapter 2, John Wick gets a bounty placed on him and he’s now on the run. As you can see, the two films’ plotlines are simple and the main focus is on the action.
However, I think the most fascination lies in the world of John Wick. There are certain restrictions and regulations that these hitmen must follow. The world, itself, is mysterious as we don’t know much about it and what we do know only comes from John Wick’s encounters with other hitmen and The Continental. Here are some observations I noticed while watching both films:
1. Every hitman knows each other or has heard of their work. Every hitman is aware of who is hunting who. There are no surprises.
2. The hitmen have in some degree a sense of honor and respect for each other even though they kill for their own self-interest and gains. They have some ethics to them—they do not kill a person without reason.
3. They can perform their duties in public. The police are absent and normal civilians do not seem to take notice of them. In fact, you wonder if there are actual real civilians in this series because every individual seems to be part of this assassination world. Yet, the only person, we know that isn’t part of this world is John Wick’s deceased wife. She is the only humane person in this series.
4. Bullets are accurate. They don’t miss their target ever. Thus, there is no such thing as an amateur hitman.
5. There is difficulty in getting out of the assassination world as demonstrated by John Wick who is struggling to live a normal life. He always managed to get caught in the web of assassination even though he has no intention of returning.
6. There is this business that sends out the latest news and bounties in this world.
7. The Continental Hotel. This hotel is the safe haven for all assassins as they cannot kill each other or behave violently while they are staying there. If one breaks this rule, they are banished forever and it also results in severe consequences. The Continental Hotel could be seen as the law and order in this world due to the fact that the hotel shows no favoritism to anyone and rather than using violent action, negotiations and reasons could be used to resolve conflicts while residing in the hotel. My favorite character in this franchise is Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel in New York.
Now I like how there will be several installments of John Wick because there is so much we don’t know about The Continental and the assassination world. There is a lot of characters and storylines that still need to be explored as well. We only got a glimpse of it in the first two films.
If you haven’t seen John Wick, I recommend you do especially if you like action and neo-noir films.