By Stephen Barker
John Wick is an expert assassin and well-versed in gun-fu, but sometimes headshots and martial arts are replaced with books, pencils, and horses.
The John Wick series is best known for how the titular character expertly shoots his way through hundreds of assassins, but sometimes he needs to get creative when he's out of ammo. Since 2014, the John Wick franchise has become increasingly popular and Keanu Reeves has the series to thank for this hugely successful leg of his career. The movies have become celebrated for their influential action sequences, and while the series didn't invent gun-fu, it absolutely popularized it in Hollywood. Many new blockbusters are influenced by John Wick, whether it's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings or Nobody.
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So far, John Wick has killed 299 people on screen, and that doesn't even include John Wick: Chapter 4. That's almost 100 people per movie, and one person every 1.2 minutes on average. Between the home invasion and the shoot-out at The Red Circle nightclub, the movies are full of high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled murder sprees. But sometimes, murders come completely out of the blue, and whenever John is cornered, that's when the Baba Yaga becomes the unstoppable, surprising assassin he has the reputation of being. Throughout the three John Wick movies, the titular character has used pencils, books, and even horses to kill enemies.
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John Wick Shoots Through The Car Roof (John Wick)
When audiences were first introduced to John killing in a suit and tie in John Wick, the well-choreographed action sequences were completely jaw-dropping, but there aren't many examples of how resourceful John can be in the first movie. However, one key shot of John in his car, fiercely driving through streets and literally trying to shake off enemies, as they're on top of the car, is one of the first examples of the assassin's surprising creativity. John shoots his gun through the roof of his car several times until the assassin on top tumbles forward, and that's all while drifting around corners at high speeds.
John Wick Assembles His Own Gun (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum)
In the first act of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, John finds a strange knife museum above a chandelier store. It's an odd location and one of many things that don't make sense in Chapter 3 - Parabellum. Nevertheless, it's host to loads of shocking kills, including when he disassembles a Remington 1875 and several guns and uses the parts to assemble a gun to his own specifications. He spends 90 seconds putting the gun together to shoot just one bullet, killing one assassin, though he could have spent that time escaping. It's also a fun reference to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly when Tuco does the same thing.
John Wick Kills Iosef With No Theatricality (John Wick)
The whole reason why John returns to the assassin's life is that Iosef killed his dog, but Iosef's murder was surprising because of how uneventful it was. John had gone through hell to find the puppy killer and get revenge, and when John finally did find him, there was nothing theatrical about it. John simply shot Iosef in the head and walked away. It could be because Iosef didn't come close to killing John and was completely inept. Or it could be because John simply finds murdering someone routine and because he isn't sadistic, though later movies saw him gouging out the eyes of random, unnamed assailants.
John Wick Uses A Sword While Riding A Motorcycle (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum)
Wick is just as badass and resourceful on two wheels as he is on four, as John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum features one of the most meticulous fight sequences on motorbikes. As John Wick is riding away on a bike, several assassins, also on motorbikes and armed with swords, box him in on the highway. However, it isn't long until John slices off an enemy's arm with his own sword, leading to the enemy flip back and causing a collision with another assassin, which all happens at 100mph. But while the machete makes for a surprising kill, John using swords will have a deeper meaning in John Wick: Chapter 4.
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John Wick Snaps A Giant's Neck With A Book (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum)
The first run-in John has following his $14 million bounty is with the opportunistic giant assassin, Ernest, who is found in the library quoting The Divine Comedy. While it seems like Ernest has the upper hand, John kills him with a thick, hardback book. John first shoves the book in Ernest's mouth to split his jaw, then uses it to snap his neck. The scene is both absolutely ridiculous and monstrous at the same time. John can do way more damage with a book than he can with a gun, and anybody would rather be shot than die the way Ernest did.
John Wick Kills Two Men With A Pencil (John Wick: Chapter 2)
Until 2017, Joker making the pencil disappear in The Dark Knight was referred to as "the pencil trick." But John Wick: Chapter 2 took that several steps further. In John Wick, Viggo told Iousef, "I once saw him kill three men in a bar with a pencil... a f***ing pencil." That instantly became a must-produce scene for a sequel. It might only have been two men, but John Wick: Chapter 2 totally fulfilled that fantasy. John stabs one attacker several times before shoving it straight through his ear, and then uses it to slice another attacker's throat and slides it into the back of his neck.
John Wick Kills Santino D'Ontonio's In The Continental (John Wick: Chapter 2)
Though John is a ruthless assassin, he has always respected The Continental and had always abided by its rules, one of which is no killing on the hotel grounds. And while there's nothing surprising about the gun he used, John killing Santino in The Continental in John Wick: Chapter 2 was a huge surprise. Santino D'Ontonio casually and smugly ate dinner in The Continental in front of John where he knew he couldn't be killed, but John saw red even more than when he was standing in front of Iosef, even if he did know that there was no escape.
John Wick Kills Assassins By Slapping A Horse (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum)
The John Wick franchise has always been more dramatic than comedic, but the series has infrequently dabbled in comedy violence, and John Wick: Chapter 3 took that to extremes. In the 2019 movie, John kills and escapes on horseback through New York City, which was unsurprisingly the most difficult John Wick scene to film, but it's how he acquires the horse that makes for the most absurd and far-reaching kills in the series. John continuously slaps the horse's behind, leading the horse to kick back its leg, hitting assassins and sending them flying. It's totally over the top and doesn't have the movie's overall tone, but it's still riotously funny.
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John Wick Works WIth Sophia's Killer Dogs (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum)
Sophie, the manager of The Continental in Casablanca, is the owner of two Belgian Malinois hounds, they are trained killers, and they viciously bite enemies in sensitive areas until they're lying in pools of blood. But while the dogs don't belong to John, he somehow works with the hounds, and together they leave Casablanca in blood-splattered ruins. It was one of the most entertaining sequences in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, and though John didn't take the dogs with him, there's another dog in John Wick: Chapter 4, who looks as if it's just as well-trained as Sophie's hounds, and the trailer hints at more bloodthirsty dogs.
John Wick Slowly Impales A Knife Into An Assassin's Eye (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum)
In the knife museum, before assembling his own gun but after the bout of knife throwing, John comes into close quarters with another assassin. John puts the assassin in a chokehold and slowly stabs his eye with a sharp knife. It's totally unwatchable for anyone who can't stand eye gore, but what makes it most surprising is just how sadistic John is, which he has never been in the John Wick series. While he's usually quick to put enemies out of their misery, John chooses what must be the most painful and horrible method to kill the unnamed attacker, and he does it slowly as if he's enjoying every second.
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