In JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM, John Wick, played by Keanu Reeves, reaches the possible end of his very violent journey. Whether that means he escapes a literal world full of ruthless assassins or succumbs to their overwhelming number will be revealed when the film opens on May 17. But after three bloody installments, the character has earned the right to, well, stop fighting for a little while.
Reflecting on the virtually nonstop gauntlet Wick has faced since a Russian crime syndicate scion killed his dog, none of his battles stand as single-serving confrontations. But with PARABELLUM on the horizon, we’re obsessed by the most memorable showdowns Wick has had in this brutal, unrelenting series. Here are the best JOHN WICK action scenes.
John’s House (John Wick)
There’s only been one occasion when John was fully defeated by his enemies. That was at the very beginning of JOHN WICK, when he didn’t know he had enemies. But the next time a 12-man team shows up at his house to kill him, John is ready. He skillfully navigates his way around his opponents, taking them all out just in time for local policeman Jimmy (Thomas Sadoski) to show up and make sure the former assassin isn’t being disturbed.
Red Circle Shootout (John Wick)
After embarking on a hunt for Iosef Tarasov (Aflie Allen), the mobster punk who killed his dog, John fights his way through a crowded nightclub to acquire his target. Wick is temporarily unsuccessful, but he does manage to wipe out a considerable number of Tarasov’s foot soldiers in the process, leaving behind a big mess for the nightly cleaning crew to deal with.
Car Rescue (John Wick: Chapter 2)
If the climax of the first JOHN WICK was slightly, well, anticlimactic, thanks to the underwhelming skill of Wick’s “final boss” foe, its sequel makes up for that in the very first scene. The antihero destroys a chop shop and every car in it — including his own — in order to retrieve the prized Mustang that set his return to action in motion.
Catacomb Shootout (John Wick: Chapter 2)
John runs into a roadblock after trying to return to the quiet, dog-living life he left behind. Ambitious Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) calls in a debt John owes, forcing the killer to hunt down D’Antonio’s sister, Gianna (Claudia Gerini). Wick accomplishes the unsavory task, putting him in the crosshairs of Gianna’s bodyguard, Cassian (Common). More immediately, Santino’s own men chase Wick through the catacombs beneath Gianna’s coronation party, with the intention of tying up his “loose end” — permanently.
Cassian Confrontation (John Wick: Chapter 2)
Though (spoiler!) he avoids being killed by Santino’s henchmen, John meets his match in Cassian, who he fights and fights and fights and fights until the two of them quite literally crash into the reception area of Rome’s Continental Hotel, a hub for assassins to recover, refuel and stock up in between jobs where — crucially — no “business,” especially not killing, can be conducted.
Subway Showdown (John Wick: Chapter 2)
After the two are forced to go their separate ways, John gets a $7 million contract placed on his head by Santino in the guise of avenging his sister. Cassian, however, is actually dedicated to that purpose, and the two men soon find themselves in a meandering, brutal battle that winds its way through train stations and fluorescent tunnels before culminating in a tense, painful knife fight on a subway car.
Hall Of Mirrors (John Wick: Chapter 2)
Having disabled Cassian (and seemingly shot most of the people in New York), John heads toward Santino, to complete his business. Before he can finish up, however, he’s locked in a shootout with several gunmen in a literal hall of mirrors. It’s impossible to know what’s real and what’s a reflection. Eventually, Wick faces Santino’s bodyguard, the mute, merciless Ares (Ruby Rose), one of the very few people our hero/assassin would call his equal. The pair square off in a bloody confrontation that not only makes up for the previous film’s final fight, but also sets in motion the events of PARABELLUM.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM opens on May 17.