What Does The Tattoo On John Wick’S Back Mean?
John’s tattoo reads, ‘Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat,’ or ‘fortune favors the brave’ in Latin. This is also a lose translation of the motto of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines — although their spelling is ‘Fortes Fortuna Juvat. ‘ This is common enough that it’s not conclusive evidence alone, but it’s definitely a starting point.
- 0.1 What does John Wick have on his back?
- 0.2 What Do John Wick’s Tattoos Mean?
- 1 Who is the one who sits above the table?
- 2 Who sits on the high table in John Wick?
- 3 Is John Wick betrayed by Winston?
- 4 What is John Wick’s nickname?
- 5 What is the tattoo on the adjudicator in John Wick 3?
Are Keanu Reeves tattoos real in John Wick?
Did Keanu Reeves get tattoos for his role in ‘John Wick’? – Reeves went all-in in order to portray the character of John Wick. The actor studied for months to prepare for John Wick and even went to an intense boot camp to get in character, learning jiu-jitsu and judo.
One thing that Reeves did not do, however, is get tatted. On-screen, John Wick is covered in a variety of symbolic tattoos, including a face covered in flames, a wolf, and lettering across his back. However, according to Distractify , Reeves himself has no recorded tattoos.
While Reeves has sat in the makeup chair many times over the years to have fake tattoos applied, his own skin remains free of tattoos. The actor has never opened up about why he prefers to steer clear of tattoos — but it can likely be chalked up to personal preference.
What does John Wick have on his back?
John is shown to have a tattoo across his back reading ‘Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat’ (‘fortune favors the bold’), which would imply that he was once in the United States Marine Corps—likely 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Why did John Wick cut his finger off?
Lionsgate WARNING: This article contains spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. Whether or not you think modern day action movies are just too long , it’s difficult to ignore how good John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum is. (Not to mention how good star Keanu Reeves is in it. ) As much fun as it is to see the “retired” assassin blast, stab, kick and punch his way through a seemingly endless array of bad guys and girls, however, surprise franchise’s latest entry does something rather shocking to its hero in the second act.
What’s more, Reeves and director Chad Stahelski had to fight the studio for it. About midway through the film, Wick seeks the aide of The Elder (Saïd Taghmaoui), a ranking member of the High Table. In order to prove how committed he will be to him, the hero slices off the ring finger on his left hand and gives his wedding ring to him.
As Stahelski explained to The Hollywood Reporter , the studio balked at this — largely because of its potential financial costs on the production: “No one creatively saw a problem with it, but it comes down to a simple matter of financials. Without giving away the spoiler, you saw it; you know what he does.
- That’s on his lead hand;
- You have a left-handed actor who’s just deformed his left hand and that left hand is in every shot of the third act of the movie;
- VFX wise, there’s a cost associated with that;
- There’s logistical problems and practical filming that are associated with that;
The studio does their job of questioning my visions and my methods to see if I really like it. ” Despite the studio’s issues with the scene, Stahelski and Reeves “felt very strongly about [it] being an emotional trigger and incredibly symbolic of what he’s giving up at that moment in that scene.
- ” They were also “willing to [make] sacrifices in other areas to preserve the funds to make that come to fruition;
- ” As a result, the filmmaker and the actor were able to keep the shocking scene in the movie, though not without cutting back on other aspects of the production;
As for what those cuts were, Stahelski didn’t say. (Via The Hollywood Reporter ).
What does Baba Yaga mean in John Wick?
The Russian Witch Named Baba Yaga – Baba Yaga is not the boogeyman at all, she is a different being altogether. In Russian folklore, she is a witch who lives in a disheveled home that stands on chicken legs. Similar to the Brothers Grimm tale of the witch in Hansel And Gretel (1812), Baba Yaga lures children into her home to devour them. She surrounds her home with the human remains of her victims.
Baba Yaga has been mythologized as living in this world and the next, making her a nightmarish figure that appears whenever she deems necessary, like John Wick. If John Wick’s nickname was truly referential to the boogeyman, he would be called a Babay.
The term translates to ” a boogeyman, ” not a particular individual but one of many. Surely, John Wick is a deadly assassin feared by many, but he is not the only one. Therefore, Babay is much more fitting for his character over Baba Yaga. He does not share a single similarity with the Russian mythic witch, he is not malevolent nor does he seek to harm the innocent.
On the contrary, he wants revenge on those who have done wrong. Unfortunately, it is a bit too late to go back and change this crucial piece of John Wick’s identity to better suit his characterization. Perhaps there is more to his story than viewers know, as John Wick 4 is slated for release in 2022 , so fans could see a whole new side to John Wick.
Until then, the use of Baba Yaga in the John Wick franchise is confusing and a bit unnerving if his character is based primarily on his nickname. More: John Wick Movies, Ranked Worst To Best Bullet Train’s 2 Major Cameos Explained About The Author Mara Bachman (568 Articles Published) Mara Bachman works as a Horror Movie Features Writer for Valnet, Inc at ScreenRant. More From Mara Bachman.
Is Winston John Wicks dad?
There’s a theory that Winston is John Wick’s father-in-law Wick, referring to him with familiarity as ‘Jonathan’ and keeping up with John’s life outside of the business. He also seems very concerned when John reenters ‘the life,’ and even more concerned when he has to put a contract on his head.
How much are gold coins worth in John Wick?
The mercenaries of the John Wick universe use their old gold coin currency, but how much is each piece worth in the Keanu Reeves movie franchise? How do the gold coins work in John Wick , and what’s their true value? For an action franchise, the mythology of the John Wick universe is surprisingly intricate, with Keanu Reeves ‘ character existing inside a vast fictional world of secretive mercenaries, shadowy syndicates and violent traditions.
The network of operatives involved in the operation is surprisingly widespread, with body removers, doctors, hotel concierges and tailors all offering the services to Wick and his colleagues. As part of their culture, however, the mercenaries do not pay these associates with regular money.
Instead, the entire mercenary world uses its own currency of gold coins to purchase everything from hotel rooms to new weapons. These gold coins are heavily present throughout the trio of John Wick movies so far, with each of the Continental’s guests earning coins by executing contracts and then spending them within the same community.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum reveals how these coins come to be in circulation, with Jerome Flynn’s Berrada responsible for producing the medallions in Casablanca. The real curiosity in John Wick’s economy, however, is how mostly everything seems to cost only a few coins.
From cleaning up a bloodbath to ordering a drink , spending coins seems to be a fairly level playing field in John Wick ‘s mythology, with no discernible exchange rate. How does their system work? In the real world, the paper and metal used for cash or the digital ones and zeroes of a bank transaction have no intrinsic value.
The fun twist of John Wick money is that the coins are smelted with real gold, making each piece worth a tidy sum at banks that don’t accept deadly mercenaries as clients. Based on the approximate size of each coin and the current price of gold, each piece would be worth just north of $2000 in proper money, but this isn’t where the true value lies in John Wick ‘s currency.
The worth of the Continental’s gold coins comes in the social contract they represent, as alluded to by Berrada. The coin offers an assurance of service – the trust, secrecy and honor at the core of the mercenary code. Essentially, whenever a person presents a coin, they ensure that whatever service they receive comes with the High Table’s promise of safety and security – the kind of promise regular money can’t buy. As for the nonsensical exchange rate, it could be argued that all services available in John’s line of work come with a similar amount of risk, even for the humble bartender, meaning prices are high whatever the service. Perhaps the most appropriate way of viewing these coins, therefore, isn’t as a monetary exchange but as the promise of a favor. A doctor does John Wick a service by patching him up and receives a coin, he can then buy a favor from someone else, and so forth.
- This is an extension of the blood pact “markers” in John Wick , which differ by being exclusive between two people and impossible to refuse;
- Muddying the waters somewhat is how the High Table’s contracts (the one on John’s own life, for example) are presented with a value in U;
dollars. This could simply be a narrative technique to demonstrate to the audience just how much the bad guys hate John Wick, but it might also prove that some kind of mathematical exchange rate does exist between gold coins and regular currency. The fact that mercenaries are presumably able to buy gas and groceries at their local store also supports the idea that exchanging gold coins for regular cash must happen.
- Some have suggested that the dollar value on hit contracts might allude to a hierarchy system, whereby one coin from John Wick, for instance, is worth more than one from Dave, the Continental ‘s new intern;
Whatever the nature of the coins from the John Wick movies, this mystical, unfathomable currency helps create a world that continues to fascinate and thrill. More: John Wick: What Baba Yaga Really Means
- John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) Release date: Mar 24, 2023
Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu Pokes Fun At WB Batgirl Cancellation In New Post About The Author Craig Elvy (4032 Articles Published) Craig first began contributing to Screen Rant in 2016, several years after graduating college, and has been ranting ever since, mostly to himself in a darkened room. Having previously written for various sports and music outlets, Craig’s interest soon turned to TV and film, where a steady upbringing of science fiction and comic books finally came into its own. Craig has previously been published on sites such as Den of Geek, and after many coffee-drenched hours hunched over a laptop, part-time evening work eventually turned into a full-time career covering everything from the zombie apocalypse to the Starship Enterprise via the TARDIS.
Since joining the Screen Rant fold, Craig has been involved in breaking news stories and mildly controversial ranking lists, but now works predominantly as a features writer. Jim Carrey is Craig’s top acting pick and favorite topics include superheroes, anime and the unrecognized genius of the High School Musical trilogy.
More From Craig Elvy.
What does red circle mean in John Wick?
What Do John Wick’s Tattoos Mean?
The exterior main entrance of The Red Circle nightclub The Red Circle is a high class nightclub in New York City that was owned by Viggo Tarasov. It is a large building and was known to be highly popular both in and out of the criminal underworld. Located on Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan, it was assaulted by John Wick in an attempt to kill Iosef Tarasov , against whom John was seeking revenge.
Who is the one who sits above the table?
There is one who sits above the High Table – Although the High Table is the ruling body of the underworld, there is a man whose own authority actually supersedes it. Known only as the Elder, he seems to reside in the Moroccan desert. While this allows the Table to run its affairs without much interference, the Elder does have the ability to stay up to date on the affairs of the world, given that he already knows of John Wick’s plight when they meet in the third installment of the series.
In John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum , the Elder agrees to override the High Table’s bounty and excommunication of Wick — that is, as long as he agrees to kill Winston, Wick’s longtime associate and the owner of the Continental’s New York location.
The High Table’s main enforcer, the Adjudicator, has been made aware of the Elder’s deal and is sent to the Continental to witness the deed. This subtle move shows the power that the Elder wields, as well as the deference and respect the High Table gives him.
Who sits above the high table in John Wick?
Appearances. The Elder is the mysterious head of the High Table, a mystical man who resides in the desert, and the overarching antagonist of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Who sits on the high table in John Wick?
History – Santino’s father was a member of the High Table until he died. After his death, he willed his seat to his daughter, Gianna D’Antonio. Desiring the spot, Santino went to John Wick to use the Marker to get him to assassinate her. John Wick, despite refusing at first, eventually agreed to honor the agreement and carried out the hit on Gianna, allowing Santino to take her seat.
Is John Wick betrayed by Winston?
poly-lt-wire-logo The assassin underworld bears more similarities to the Marvel Cinematic Universe than you might think By May 16, 2019, 8:00pm EDT Lionsgate The world of John Wick is a puzzle box. Each installment has revealed more about the assassin underworld, detailing the network of killers far beyond just New York City. And, weirdly, it’s plagued by the same kind of bureaucratic infighting you’d find in any office setting. The third installment is no exception, sending John (Keanu Reeves) across the globe and back again, encountering members of the larger assassin world along the way.
But after the events of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum have we seen the last of the Baba Yaga? And what does the future of the franchise have in store? Polygon spoke with the screenwriter to find out more.
[ Ed. note: Major spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum follow. ] Winston (Ian McShane) and John Wick’s new dog. Summit Entertainment Rather than being the final piece of a John Wick trilogy, Parabellum ends on a cliffhanger, setting up the dominos for a major shake-up and continuation. As the film ends, John has been betrayed by his longtime friend Winston (Ian McShane), who has chosen to sacrifice him to The High Table so as to keep control over New York branch of The Continental.
The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), who also nearly died at the hands of the Table, saves John’s life, transporting him to safety after his fall from the roof of the hotel. Neither have anything to lose, and both have been underestimated by those who would attempt to oust them.
They haven’t just survived the ordeal; they’re now out for revenge. “In the first couple of drafts, we did quote unquote end it,” explained Derek Kolstad, who created the series. “But even in that ending that we wrote, it still left it open to the world, but more along the lines of your gunslinger riding off into the sunset.
But over time and over process, let’s be honest, Keanu loves this movie, loves this character. Chad loves this world. ] There was a larger world to explore and they wanted to delve into it. ” Though it’s fairly clear what John Wick will get up to next (revenge!), there’s an entire world that’s left to dig into.
Numerous characters who have been introduced in brief appearances in John’s story who could easily anchor their own spinoffs. Halle Berry’s Sofia, for instance, or The Tailor and The Sommelier from the second film could be expanded. There’s also the idea that there might be an entity that even John Wick can’t handle.
“In a world where everyone fears the Baba Yaga, fears John Wick, who does John fear?” wonders Kolstad. “Is there the Bogeyman of the Bogey man?” The possibilities are endless given that the infrastructure holding the assassins together has, according to Kolstad, been in place for at least 2000 years.
“I think as the franchise goes on that we’d become more international,” Kolstad said, noting that there are Continentals in every city and citing Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore as potential locations. However, “in many ways the heart and the soul of this movie, this franchise, these characters, will be New York. ” The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and Winston (McShane) in conversation. Summit Entertainment Still, there’ll be plenty of room for growth given that one of the planned Wickiverse continuations is a TV series tentatively titled The Continental. Though Kolstad is a non-writing executive producer on the show (whereas he wrote the scripts for the first two John Wick movies and co-wrote the script of the third), he dug into some of the possibilities.
- “Honestly, if it’s going back to a Continental TV show, I want to see what the kitchen looks like;
- I want to see who cleans the rooms;
- I want to see who’s the janitor;
- ” It’s an expansion of Wick lore that feels in line with the great franchise of our age: the Marvel Cinematic Universe;
The other Wick movie in development is called Ballerina , the title of which dovetails neatly with the discovery that John comes from similar origins as Black Window: A house that trains girls in ballet and boys in wrestling, turning them into pro assassins.
“It really is starting to feel like its own MCU,” Kolstad agreed. “I know that’s sort of ridiculous when you think about [the fact that] there’s just been three movies at this point, but there’s so much life in this universe right now, it makes perfect sense.
I think a lot of that comes down to what the MCU has done so well. It never felt to me like at any point those movies were talking down to the audience just as in John Wick they’re not talking down to you. They’re expecting you to catch up and they’re unveiling a world to you that doesn’t have to describe itself to you.
You’re strapping in for the ride and peeling back the layers of the onion. ” What makes the John Wick universe even more special, however, has everything to do with its star. As pointed out by Kolstad, Reeves has stated a dislike of sequels and franchises, so it’s a blessing and a surprise that he’s so married to John Wick.
“He has made this character his own and he just wants to run with it for as long as he wants to run with it,” Kolstad said. As for where he’s running to, we’ll just have to wait to find out. “It’s like, well, where the fuck do we go now? The reality is we’re figuring it out.
Is John Wick a gypsy?
“Si vis pacem para bellum” translated “If you want peace, prepare for war” I hadn’t planned on seeing John Wick 3 – Parabellum , but out for a walk in Stockholm in May, I got caught in a sudden downpour without an umbrella. I was in Sweden for the first time thanks to an invitation from the Spotify product team and had decided to spend some of my downtime seeing the city.
Sweden, by the way, is the country with the second highest unicorns per capita. Fascinating, and a topic for another day. I sprinted out of the rain and into the nearest building, which happened to be a movie theater.
Checking Dark Sky on my phone, the rain didn’t look to let up for another hour or two, so I scanned the theater listings and found a film in English. John Wick 3: Parabellum it was. Like many I enjoyed the first John Wick movie for its lean and elegant plot and balletic fight choreography.
- Keanu Reeves was inspired casting given his unfussy acting style;
- However, I thought the sequel was unnecessary;
- I wasn’t expecting much from yet another entry, the third, but I rarely regret spending two hours in a darkened theater;
Watching an American film in the company of a Swedish audience also promised to be a form of cultural field work, and on that front, I felt fortunate the house was packed with locals. John Wick 3 – Parabellum begins directly after the events of the previous film, and at first, all seemed familiar.
But after having spent two films worth of time in this universe already, sometime midway through the third film, it dawned on me. The rules of this film franchise mapped with uncanny precision to something that everyone had been complaining about to me for years now: cancel culture.
With that, the films took on heightened resonance. Here I present my theory of John Wick Universe as an allegory of cancel culture. [SPOILER ALERT: Here is where I must warn people who haven’t seen the films that I will reveal key plot points to the three Wick films below.
- I don’t feel like the charms of this film series lie in the plot details—what happens isn’t surprising in the least to even the most casual of action film fans—but I disagree with those who say spoiler culture has ruined film criticism;
Instead I’m happy to let my readers choose their own acceptable quota of narrative novelty. If you prefer not to learn the plots of the John Wick films, stop reading here. ] Wick’s character motivation can be described thus: my name is John Wick. You stole my car.
You killed my dog. Prepare to die. Reeves plays Wick from cinema’s storied tradition of zen-like hit men, almost placid in their mastery of their craft, which, in his case, is the violent dispatch of other humans from the realm of the living.
This is Alain Delon in Le Samourai , Robert De Niro in Heat , Jean Reno as Victor “The Cleaner” in La Femme Nikita. Less sexual than Bond, not quite as overtly cruel as Matz and Jacamon’s Killer. These hit men have a heart, but their highest order bit is the code by which they live.
Whether personal or business, there’s little difference, the job is killing. And kill he does. In John Wick 3: Parabellum the signature choreography of death remains, a style which can only be described as baroque.
Not John Wick for a single gunshot to the head when he can first maim with a few amuse bouche bullets to the torso and limbs. Why engage in a simple fist fight when one can hold a confrontation in a store filled with display cases lined with all manner of knives (in case of emergency, break glass with the skull of your combatant).
Why simply perforate assailants with automatic weapons when they can be simultaneously be relieved of their genitals by an attack dog? It wasn’t until Michael Bay’s terrible 6 Underground on Netflix that I saw a film with more cartoonish violence this year.
For some, this is entertainment enough. I’ll never hesitate to offer my opinions on any piece of entertainment, but I do not begrudge anyone their pleasures. Certainly, the crowd of Swedes who laughed and cheered at the escalating violence seemed more than entertained.
For me, however, films are even more compelling when they speak to the world outside the edges of the screen. I’m nothing if not a sucker for subtext. What fascinated me about John Wick was how its absurdist universe acted as a wry commentary on cancel culture.
Do I think this subtext was intentional? Doubtful. Some filmmakers reward subtextual readings more than others. Still, the advantage of making a film with such a lean universe design is its semiotic flexibility. John Wick’s real name, we learn, is Jardani Jovonovich, a Belarussian gypsy raised as an assassin.
Wick is nicknamed Baba Yaga, the Boogeyman, for he is the master of assassination. Who are most gifted in using social media to sow chaos and division in the world, especially the United States, than the Russians? Having lost the Cold War they’ve come back in a more fluid and confounding form.
When the first film begins, Wick has left that world of violence behind for a peaceful domestic life with his wife Helen. But she dies from an illness, though not before leaving him a beagle to keep him company. The dog, along with Wick’s car, a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, are recognizable to anyone as the two iconic totems of an American’s most sacred values.
- When a group of Russian gangsters try to buy his car and Wick refuses, they break into his home, steal the car, and kill the dog;
- In Pulp Fiction , John Travolta complains to Eric Stoltz that some vandals keyed his car;
Stoltz commiserates. “They should be fuckin’ killed, man. No trial, no jury, straight to execution,” he says. “What’s more chicken-shit than fuckin’ with a man’s automobile?” says Travolta. “Don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle. ” “You don’t do it,” agrees Stoltz.
- In America, the car is the symbol of a man’s property and an expression of his individual freedom;
- The dog is the symbol of unconditional loyalty, man’s faithful companion as he rules over his domain;
- The two totems of American sacred values In a social media context, we can think of Wick’s dog and his car as representing those beliefs we hold sacred;
When Wick loses his car and his dog, he is every one of us who sees one of the values we consider intrinsic to our personal identity impugned by some stranger on social media. That the perpetrators are Russian is nothing if not reminiscent of Russian agents sowing discord in American society in the run up to the 2016 Presidential election.
- It turns out John used to work for the father of the leader of the gangsters who stole his car and killed his dog;
- That father, Viggo, upon learning what his son Iosef has done, calls Wick and begs him to let it go;
Don’t feed the trolls, we are told time and again. But we, like Wick, cannot. His permanent sabbatical from assassination has come to an end. As on social media, violence begets violence. Since Wick refuses to let the matter go, Viggo, to protect his son, sends a preemptive hit squad to assassinate Wick at his home.
We never fight a single target on social media because the public broadcast nature of social media always rallies others to the cause. The first John Wick film proceeds from there as a series of attacks and counterattacks until Wick emerges, alive, bloodied, with a new dog, a pit bull he frees from an animal clinic.
Viggo, Iosef, and what seems like a hundred or so henchmen are dead. The new dog symbolizes a brief moment of peace for Wick, just as we sometimes emerge from our skirmishes online feeling as if we have the moral high ground, our honor once again intact.
- John Wick 2 begins with him retrieving his car from a chop shop owned by Viggo’s brother, which requires Wick to kill not only Viggo’s brother but his fellow goons;
- The car takes serious damage in the firefight, much like the beating we take defending ourselves online, but Wick eventually emerges with his car and new dog and then returns home to bury his weapons cache;
He thinks he is out of the game once again. As anyone who has participated in culture wars knows, any victory is temporary and pyrrhic. Out of the blue, Santino D’Antonio visits Wick at his home and calls in a marker, represented in the films by a medallion with a drop of blood from the debtor.
- Santino needs Wick to become an assassin again, just as various friends online call on us to take their side in various online battles;
- John refuses;
- He wants out;
- The marker is the marker, though;
- If you won’t defend your values, then can you say you really have any? Santino reminds John of this in a not-so-subtle way: he blows up Wick’s house with a grenade launcher;
This brings us to The Continental, the unique hotel chain at the heart of the John Wick universe. Their Manhattan branch is run by Winston (Ian McShane) and staffed by the always courteous and professional concierge Charon (Lance Reddick). Now homeless, Wick retreats to the Continental for refuge.
The entire Continental hotel chain lives under the aegis of the High Table, like one of the W Hotels in the former Starwood and now Marriott network. The Continental hotel chain stands in for our social media platforms.
Like them, The Continental claims neutrality—no killing is allowed on Continental grounds—yet they happily arm assassins with all manners of weapons, like Twitter arming people with the quote tweet, the AK-47 of social media. They even employ a weapons sommelier.
The Continental sets all sorts of very specific policies that seem to be in conflict with each other; do they want civility or violence? Visitors to the Continental, like Wick, vacillate between wanting them to enforce rules and wondering who put them in charge in the first place.
In other words, a mirror of the tension between users and the social networks that dominate the modern internet. At any rate, Winston reminds Wick he must honor the marker from Santino, because them’s the rules. These markers are like metaphors for engagement, the debt we pay social networks for the privilege of their services and distribution.
Social media platforms do not want violence on their grounds, yet they live through user engagement. The only way to not have any markers on your ledger is to never accrue a debt in the first place, but Wick was raised in the golden age of social networks, where it was near impossible to avoid being active on them.
Bowing to the marker, Wick accedes to Santino’s request to assassinate his sister so Santino can assume her spot on the High Table council. Wick carries out the mission, with great reluctance, only to have Santino turn around and put a $7 million contract on Wick for murdering his sister.
This is akin to battling your enemies on social media platforms, creating the engagement that platforms thrive off of, only to have them turn around and lock your account for having done so. Many a person I know has complained about just such a betrayal.
Pour one out for David Simon and his periodic bans on Twitter for eviscerating his opponents in a blaze of profanity. Wick, as is his style, comes after Santino, who retreats to the safety of the Continental, where no violence is allowed. But Wick has been betrayed, and personal values now take precedence over the platform rules of The Continental.
- He pursues Santino onto hotel grounds and guns him down in front of Winston;
- As penalty for conducting assassin business on Continental grounds, the High Table doubles the bounty on Wick to $14 million and broadcasts it globally;
As the second film ends, Winston informs Wick of the bounty and gives him an hour head start to run. He sets off with his pit bull through Central Park as cell phones start ringing throughout the park. Wick has been true to his beliefs, as symbolized by the dog by his side, but the outrage mob is about to be set loose on him.
- John Wick 3: Parabellum picks up from there;
- Wick is on the run through the rain of Manhattan, glancing at his watch as the seconds tick down to the global bounty becoming official;
- In the Wick universe, official High Table business is processed through a central office by dozens of men and women dressed like old school phone switch operators, all of whom go about their jobs with an almost cheerful professionalism;
Anyone who has ever received an impassive automatic reply from a social media customer service department after reporting some vicious attack can empathize with the almost comical formality of the Kafkaesque institution in the face of what feels like emotional terrorism.
That the bounty is put out by the High Table feels appropriate. It’s because of the algorithmic distribution of social media platforms that the asymmetric attack of the bloodthirsty mob achieves modern levels of scale and precision.
The High Table seems elusive, at times arbitrary, just like the moderation policies of social networks. Winston at time seems friendly to John, yet he also stands by as the mob prepares to set upon Wick. Many users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and so on can relate to this love-hate relationship with those platforms.
As soon as Wick’s bounty goes global, seemingly every next person on the street comes sets upon him with the nearest weapon at hand. Anyone who has been attacked by an online mob, or even mildly harassed, is familiar with this uniquely modern sensation of being set upon by complete strangers.
The Wick films give online mobs physical form. These random assassins are the Twitter eggs with usernames like pepe298174. Even more perfect, strangers attack John Wick only after glancing at their phones and receiving word of the bounty. How do outrage mobs coalesce in the online world? From people staring at social media on their phones and locating the next target to be cancelled.
The High Table’s bounty system, with its mobile notifications, is nothing less than a formalization of the mechanisms by which social networks enable cancel culture. Wick dispatches one attacker after the other with every weapon at hand, whether axe or handgun or, in the first case, a hardcover book (when you absolutely, positively, have to snap a man’s neck using a book lodged in his jaw, a flimsy paperback or e-book just will not do).
I’ve talked to liberals who’ve been set upon by the alt-right. Women who’ve been attacked by gamers. Creatives who are set upon by outraged fans. Conservatives who feel swarmed by SJW’s. Everyone feels unjustly attacked by faceless mobs, everyone is aggrieved.
Everyone feels they are standing up for their truth and their principles, like John Wick, while mindless strangers attack from all sides. John Wick is the avatar of the modern social media user, the ” righteous man beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.
” Just before the bounty goes live, Wick stops by one of those doctors in the movies that caters to assassins and mobsters, the ones with fantastic service, always willing to provide bullet removal surgery on demand to walk-ins. Wick is bleeding from a shoulder wound inflicted by an overzealous assassin who tried to take John out before the bounty went official.
- Wick begs the doctor to patch him up, and he does, even pointing John to some medicine for the pain;
- But before Wick leaves, the doctor asks John to shoot him twice, to make it seem as if Wick coerced him into helping him;
The doctor knows it is near impossible to stay neutral in the culture wars; if you’re not on one side you’re on the other. Ask Maggie Haberman. John calls in a marker from a woman known as the Director (Anjelica Huston). She runs a ballet theater called the Ruska Roma that doubles as some sort of training ground for assassins; it’s implied that Wick learned his trade there.
Once again, the blind loyalty to this marker system perpetuates a cycle of violence. Huston would rather not be involved, admonishing Wick, “You honor me by bringing death to my front door. ” Wick retorts in Russian, ” I am a child of the Belarus.
An orphan of your tribe. You are bound to help me. ” He explicitly evokes the tribalism inherent in humans, the us vs. them impulse that social media amplifies. And then, in English, “You are bound, and I am owed. ” The particular power of tribalism is the near impossibility of being neutral; to not pick any side is to be against everyone.
- The Director succumbs;
- The face you make when your friend tags you into his or her online battle and you just want to watch YouTube You were at my wedding Denise As she walks him through the backstage training area of the theater, where other young assassins are in training, she says, “You know when my pupils first come here, they wish for one thing;
A life free of suffering. I try to dissuade them from these childish notions but as you know, art is pain. Life is suffering. ” As she says this, a ballerina pulls a toenail off. Social media is suffering, she is saying, but Wick is already in too deep. She walks him past a bunch of men wrestling on the ground, future John Wicks in training.
She continues, “Somehow, you managed to get out. But here you are, back where you began. All of this, for what? For a dog?” “It wasn’t just a dog,” he replies. “The High Table wants your life. How can you fight the wind? How can you smash the mountains? How can you bury the ocean? How can you escape from the light? Of course you can go to the dark.
But they’re in the dark, too. ” Huston is saying that the only way to avoid the darkness of social media is to avoid it, but, as he says, it wasn’t just a dog. She points him to the path out of the outrage cycle, nothing that it’s not a game you can win (How can you fight the wind? That is, there’s always another faceless troll.
- ), but for Wick it’s a matter of honor;
- She cashes in his marker, acceding to his request for safe passage to Casablanca;
- Enter Taylor Mason;
- Err, sorry, the Adjudicator, played by Asia Kate Dillon;
- Employed by the High Table, she informs both Winston of the NY Continental and another character nicknamed the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) that they must abdicate their positions in seven days for having aided Wick in killing Santino (in John Wick 2);
If you’re a liberal, the Adjudicator is like the conservative government officials who’ve continually accused social media platforms of an anti-conservative bias, or the both-sides-ism of the media. If you’re a conservative, the Adjudicator is some metaphor for the liberal media, punishing social media platforms for anything other than absolute conformity to liberal narratives.
- Sometimes, when Twitter works itself into a rage at another NYTimes headline that isn’t tough enough on Trump, I think of the Adjudicator as the public, holding the newspaper to account for its failure to answer to the collective public High Table;
In Casablanca, Wick calls on another friend, Sofia (the ageless Halle Berry making a nice pair with the ageless Keanu), with whom he cashes in yet another marker. She, like The Director earlier, is not happy to be pulled into Wick’s personal battles. Sofia runs another branch of the Continental, so essentially Wick has fled one tech platform for another that feels obligated to shelter him.
He may be excommunicado from the NY Continental, but he once came to Sofia’s aid, and she owes him. “You do realize that I’m management now, right? I’m not service anymore, John, so I don’t go around shooting people in the head,” Sofia notes.
She’s essentially a tech platform executive now, trying to avoid getting pulled into social media battles. “Look, I made a deal when I agreed to run this hotel, and that deal said I had to follow the rules of the High Table,” she says. “If I make one mistake, one enemy, maybe somebody goes looking for my daughter.
- ” Sofia faces the risk of being doxxed and having some nutjobs go after her children;
- Years ago, John helped get Sofia’s daughter out of this dangerous world, and Sofia doesn’t know where she’s been shepherded;
She doesn’t want to know because she knows it would put her daughter back in harm’s way. “Because sometimes you have to kill what you love. ” Sofia speaks for all those who keep their opinions to themselves online because the cost of being cancelled just isn’t worth the cost of being attacked by the mob.
If she stays in the game, she will be pulled into vicious battles she wishes no part of. But in removing herself from social media, she loses out on some of the benefits they offer, like the chance to communicate with family and friends, in her case her daughter.
Long ago she chose exit. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, the Adjudicator visits a sushi stand and calls on the chef and his crew to help enforce penalties against Wick and all who aided him. The chef, named Zero, agrees. He is, like seemingly everyone in this world, an assassin, just as social media turned all of us into soldiers in the culture wars.
Zero and his team seem willing to serve the High Table no matter what they demand; like most people, the lure of participating in an online mob is a form of universal human bloodlust. They can also stand in for platform moderators, trying to implement social network speech policies as best as they can.
First they visit the Director at the Ruska Roma. The Adjudicator confronts her over helping Wick despite his excommunication. Huston defends herself. “He had a ticket. ” The Adjudicator will hear nothing of it. “But a ticket does not stand above the Table. ” Zero runs a blade through the Director’s clasped hands as penalty.
Time and again, the John Wick mythology points to the seeming futility of the defending one’s values on social media. The price of picking a side is always to suffer egregious violence from the other side with seemingly no real winners, or to be have one’s hands slapped by the platforms (or in this case, pierced with a sword).
Sofia takes Wick to meet her former boss Berrada, as he requests. Berrada runs a mint to manufacture the gold coins and markers that the assassin world operate on. “Now this coin, of course, it does not represent monetary value. It represents the commerce of relationships, a social contract in which you agree to partake.
- Order and rules;
- You have broken the rules;
- The High Table has marked you for death;
- ” Berrada describes both the way in which platforms turned our relationships into business arrangements (“commerce” and “contract”), the artificiality of their power—the order and rules are ones the platforms made up—and their power to deplatform or ban anyone who sign the user agreements;
Berrada asks Wick if he knows the etymology of the word assassin. Berrada explains: “But others contend it comes from asasiyyun. Meaning ‘men who are faithful and who abide by their beliefs. ‘” The Wick Universe, populated with assassins murdering each other in an endless cycle of retribution, is a proxy for the users on social media who cannot stand by idly while others infringe upon their beliefs.
- Wick asks Berrada how to find the Elder, the one who sits above the High Table;
- Berrada directs him to wander into the desert and hope that the Elder finds him;
- Before Sofia and John can leave, however, Berrada demands something from Sofia in exchange for the favor;
In face, he says he will keep one of Sofia’s two dogs, who accompany her everywhere. Again, the dog symbolizes a person’s most sacred values. On social media, we are always being forced by tribal battles to give up some of our values in order to stay out of harm’s way.
This time, Sofia refuses. Berrada shoots one of the dogs, but it is wearing a bulletproof vest (hey yo social media wars are vicious you can never be too cautious). Sofia huddles over her dog, then draws a handgun hidden under its vest.
John sees what she is doing and urges her, “No. ” But it’s too late. The thing about social media is that it takes just one savage troll to put us on tilt. Sofia shoots Berrada in the leg, and just like that she’s back in the culture wars. After she and her dogs and John kill off Berrada’s nearby henchmen, she walks over to Berrada and considers shooting him in the head.
“Sofia, don’t,” urges John. She shoots him in the knee instead. “He shot my dog. ” “I get it,” he replies, in the funniest line in the film. Anyone who has dealt with an online mob empathizes with friends when they fall under attack and go berserk in response.
When you know you should just mute and block and walk away, but damn, that SOB shot your dog Sofia, John, and the dogs fight their way out of the facility, killing several dozen men along the way in the most elaborately violent ways possible, evoking the almost casual cruelty of online warfare.
- They steal a car and drive out to the desert where Sofia abandons John to his search for the Elder;
- He wanders through the desert in his suit, without any water, a user de-platformed;
- Damn, I got booted off Twitter and Facebook In Manhattan, the Adjudicator and her sushi chef moderators visit the Bowery King and make him pay penance for the seven bullets he gave John Wick with seven knife cuts to the chest;
In the desert, John collapses from exhaustion but is saved and brought to the Elder. John asks him for a chance to reverse his excommunication. The Elder offers him a deal: Wick must assassinate Winston, head of the Manhattan Continental hotel, and then serve the rest of his days under the High Table doing what he does best, assassinating people.
This is the Faustian bargain for being on these social media platforms. Drive engagement for them and play by their rules, whatever those are, or be excommunicated from them. John either stays an assassin, suffering a lifetime of fighting other people on social media, or he can remove himself from the platforms entirely.
“I will serve. I will be of service,” John says. To prove his fealty, he cuts off his wedding ring finger. We’ve all seen people lash back at trolls only to be banned themselves. The loss of Wick’s ring finger represents those values we compromise when playing by social media platform’s arbitrary moderation rules.
Who among us hasn’t emerged from some online tussle feeling like we lost a finger ourselves, gave up some part of our humanity? Oh boy, here come’s dat online mob! Back in Manhattan, John has to fight his way past Zero and his henchmen to reach the Continental.
Just as Zero is about to kill him, John puts his hand on the front steps of the Continental. Charon appears and tells Zero to lower his weapon. Again, the platform rules are the rules: no assassination on hotel grounds. Inside, John and Zero sit in the lobby together and have a chat.
Zero fanboys over having met the legendary John Wick, even while noting he’s more of a cat person. Nothing epitomizes the often arbitrary tribal battles online better than the fight between cat and dog people.
You like dogs? I guess we have to kill each other. Many people have described the feeling of meeting someone in real life who they despise online and finding they get along better than they would’ve imagined. While it’s not always the case, the disembodied world of social media tends to amplify divisions.
The John Wick films portray this multiple times; in every film, John has a moment where he and someone trying to assassinate him stop to share a cordial drink on Continental grounds before resuming their fight to the death a short while later.
If only we’d met offline rather than on Twitter, we might be friends! Isn’t screaming at each other online productive? Wick gets his meeting with Winston, who tells John that killing him will not honor his wife’s memory but simply return him to a state of subservience to the High Table.
The Adjudicator joins them and asks if Winston will step down (reminiscent of the calls for CEOs like Zuckerberg and Dorsey to step down from their posts) and whether John will kill Winston. Both of them refuse, so the Adjudicator calls the home office and has the Manhattan branch of the Continental deconsecrated.
Blame me all you want for running this platform, but it’s just human nature John. I can’t fix that! Of course, this now means that assassination can be carried out on hotel grounds, but also that John can now partake in hotel services, namely a visit to the gun sommelier. “Let’s see, I’m going to need the ability to tag some mofos, and also to quote tweet their asses” What ensues is what film critics love to refer to as an “orgy of violence,” (has there every been an “orgy of peace”?) though in this case, as the carnage is accompanied by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, perhaps a symphony of violence is more fitting (again, why never a “concerto of violence”?). Charon, hotel staff, and John move about the hotel fighting off an army of High Table forces clad in such heavy armor that they seem impervious to bullets, almost like an army of online bots swarming their target. The whole time, Winston hides in a secure vault, sipping a martini, emblematic, in many people’s minds, of social media execs working from their cushy offices while users rip each other to shreds on their platforms. Wow, Trump just declared war on Twitter! Oh well! John survives, as usual, dispatching everyone who comes after him. The Adjudicator calls Winston and asks for a parley on the rooftop of the Continental, where John eventually arrives. Winston asks the Adjudicator for forgiveness and offers his ongoing loyalty to the High Table. The Adjudicator agrees to reconsecrate the Continental and restore Winston as manager, but then she turns to John and asks Winston what is to be done of the titular assassin.
Winston replies by shooting Wick repeatedly in the chest and knocking him off the roof of the Continental, where he falls several stories to the alley below, bouncing off a few fire escape railings and awnings in the process.
Ah, those platforms, they’re always liable to turn on you. Wick is not dead, as you’d expect. The Adjudicator, on the way out of the hotel, peeks in the alley, where Wick’s body is nowhere to be found. He has, we discover, been brought to the Bowery King, now maimed by all those knife wounds ordered by the Adjudicator.
- What outlook does John Wick offer us on the state of the online discourse moving forward? Is there any hope for relief? The end of the film isn’t optimistic;
- Laurence Fishburne says to Wick, lying there in a bloody heap on the ground: “So, let me ask you John, how do you feel? Because I am really pissed off;
You pissed, John? Hmm? Are you?” John Wick strains to lift his bloodied head off the ground to look Fishburne in the eyes. “Yeah.
What is John Wick’s nickname?
John eventually became the top enforcer for the New York Russian crime syndicate, becoming a feared and ruthless hitman that people describe as ‘a man of focus, commitment, and sheer will’. He was later nicknamed ‘ Baba Yaga ‘, being further described as the man one would send to ‘kill the Bogeyman’.
What does a 7 and a 2 card tattoo mean?
In cartomancy, the Two of Diamonds over the Seven of Spades means ‘ bad news, you are going to die soon ‘. Sources:.
What is the tattoo on the adjudicator in John Wick 3?
- The Adjudicator is the first main antagonist in a John Wick film not to die in their debut film.
- Tattooed on the left side of their neck is “einfühlung”, which is German for empathy.
- Actor Asia Kate Dillon is nonbinary.
Is Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat a military tattoo?
Published May 23, 2019 Promotional consideration provided by eOne. With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum , director Chad Stahelski has once again delivered a visual feast of action. Though it’s easy to simply tune in and let your jaw drop as Keanu Reeves lays a smack down on a small arsenal of bad guys, however, the films also work thanks to Stahelski’s painstaking attention to detail.
- From the highbrow art direction through the obsessively accurate gunplay, every detail of the Wick franchise has been considered;
- Yes, that also applies to John Wick’s tattoos;
- Ever since Wick stood in the shower with his back to the camera in the franchise’s beloved first film, audiences have obsessed over their action hero’s tattoos and what they may mean;
Here, we attempt to unpack Wick’s ink and how it plays into his status as an assassin and icon. Wick’s large back tattoo, which reads “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” is particularly fascinating. “How many people are trying to figure out what the tattoo on his back means?” Stahelski commented in an interview with Exclaim! , noting just how much painstaking detail has gone into the franchise.
- Below, we dig into some possible explanations for this strangely compelling piece of ink;
- Military service A large number of people interpret the Latin phrase “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” to mean something similar to “fortune favours the bold” in English;
That saying has been a favourite among American military personnel. It’s used on the crest of the 3rd Marine Regiment at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. This could very well be a nod to Keanu’s background as a native Hawaiian, though it could also suggest that Wick himself once served in the Marines.
- Variations of the phrase have also appeared on numerous U;
- Navy ships, patches belonging to members of the United States Air Force and patches worn by the Seattle Police Department’s S;
- While the phrase appears here in its Latin origin rather than the more commonly used English iteration, it could still suggest Wick had a history in military or police service;
Elsewhere in pop culture Variations on “fortune favours the bold” have appeared throughout pop culture in myriad forms. While its use in Wick likely does not mean it’s a reference to another pop culture property, it does solidify the franchise’s place in the history of genre filmmaking.
- After all, the phrase was used in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine literally called “Favors the Bold;
- ” Soon after, a different iteration of the phrase popped up in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Buffy herself was quoted as saying “Fortune favors the brave;
” That same phrase was uttered by Newton Geiszler in the cult classic 2013 film Pacific Rim , while “Audentes fortuna juvat” (“Fortune favours the bold”) also showed up in Star Trek Enterprise. Since the first Wick movie, variations of the phrase also appeared in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and the videogame The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
- Consider the statement a calling card for nerdy, heady pop culture properties;
- Religious meaning Wick has a cross on his left shoulder, and the Latin phrase is perched atop the classic praying hands iconography associated with Catholicism;
As such, context clues may suggest that the phrase has some root in early Christianity or Christian teachings. That’s a misconception, however. The phrase does not have anything to do with biblical teaching, nor does its message really tie in with Christian themes of humility and meekness.
- Plus, considering John Wick’s literal body count, it’s safe to say he’s probably not a born-again Christian;
- Goddess of fate While it’s tempting to simplify “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” as “fortune favours the bold,” however, many argue that the translation is simply inaccurate;
In a detailed post from The Skull and Sword , author Mike Smith breaks down the Latin to really dig into its possible meaning. “Fortuna,” he establishes, is a reference to both fortune and also the Roman goddess Fortuna, who controlled fate via both good and bad luck.
- Whereas “fortune favours the bold” utilizes the term “audentis,” Wick’s tattoo says “fortis;
- ” Smith argues that this word is a neutral plural noun that roughly translates to “the strong ones;
- ” Finally, the word “adiuvat” includes the prefix “ad-” over the word “iuvat;
” While “iuvat” could be interpreted to mean “favour,” the added prefix gives it a different meaning — “to come and save. ” As such, the tattoo can more accurately be interpreted as meaning, “Fortune will come save the strong ones. ” What does that mean for John Wick as a whole? That poetic phrasing could be interpreted in myriad ways as we watch our hero face off against an enormous international network of paid assassins.
Who is Keanu Reeves stunt double in John Wick?
Warning: This article contains a mild spoiler for The Matrix Resurrections. In the world of the Matrix, everything is more than it seems — and the same goes for Chad. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are miraculously back as Neo and Trinity in The Matrix Resurrections , though they died during the events of the last movie, released 18 years ago.
- Their minds are once again locked inside the simulated reality from which the franchise derives its name, but they have no memory of their past lives;
- Neo, now going by Thomas Anderson, is an award-winning developer of a popular video game series called (wink, wink) The Matrix , but he’s losing his grip on real life;
Meanwhile, Trinity is Tiffany, a motorcycle-loving mom married to a guy named Chad. For director Lana Wachowski , casting Chad was likely another meta-nod to the theme of nostalgia that informs the latest sequel. Chad Stahelski is more widely known these days as the filmmaker behind the John Wick movies, but he started his career as a stunt performer, his early gigs including playing Reeves’ Neo stunt double for The Matrix , The Matrix Reloaded , and The Matrix Revolutions.
- He still can’t believe Wachowski enlisted him for his new role;
- “She’s like, ‘I’m gonna put everybody in the movie;
- ‘ I’m like, ‘Yeah, you don’t wanna do that;
- That’s just gonna hurt your movie,'” Stahelski tells EW;
“You kind of blow it off and then she hands you the pages and it’s like, ‘Chad,’ and you’re like, ‘Are you f—ing kidding me?!’ The natural instinct is to say, ‘Nah, f— off. I’m busy. ‘ But you gotta understand, everyone that comes from the Matrix school of filmmaking, our loyalties are f—ing fierce. Chad Stahelski Chad Stahelski at the U. premiere for ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ | Credit: Steve Jennings/Getty Images ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you remember where you were in your life and career when you got the gig to be Keanu’s stunt double for the first Matrix ? CHAD STAHELSKI: Oh my God, that was forever ago.
They call, you answer. I owe my entire career to Keanu and Lana. If they want me to sweep the floor, I’ll sweep the floor. ” Here, Stahelski discusses first joining 1999’s The Matrix and coming full circle in Resurrections.
I was in my first five years as a stunt guy, trying to figure out the business. I was working on a bunch of TV shows for a stunt coordinator named Ernie Orsatti and his son, Noon Orsati: NYPD Blue , The Pretender , The Profiler , a couple other shows. You gotta remember, back then martial arts wasn’t a big thing in Hollywood movies.
It was more slug-it-out Arnold Schwarzenegger fights. It was Noon who said, “There is this sci-fi action thing, but they’re looking for martial arts guys who look like Keanu Reeves. You look like him. You should go.
” I kid you not, I had just got hit by a car for a TV show. I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and still trying to stop the bleeding from a small abrasion I had in my head. He was like, “Take lunchtime, go to the audition. ” How was the audition? It ended up being very arduous, probably one of the toughest auditions I’d ever been to at that point.
I drove myself to Burbank, went to the warehouse, met the Wachowskis, met Keanu. I was a big Hong Kong action nerd. They introduced [stunt choreographer] Yuen Woo-Ping , and I was like, “Holy s—!” They said, “We’re gonna take you through some motions.
” It started off acrobatic. I drove away thinking that was wacky. They called me again, like four weeks later, to go to the same place. I did almost the exact same audition all over again. That was trippy. And then, like a month later, they called and offered me the job.
- And I turned it down;
- Really? I had already booked a TV show that took me through the end of the year;
- You’d have to ask Barrie Osborne, the producer at the time, but he sounded fairly upset with me and we left it at that;
Then months went by, and out of the blue I get a call from Barrie. He’s like, “We had to push some things. Do you still want to do it?” I got on a plane and went to Australia and didn’t have any idea what to expect. Got off the plane, went to the training hall.
You saw the rehearsals of what they were hoping to do. I think at the time it was a dojo fight. That was the first thing they were training me in. It was just a whole different level than what the U. guys were used to.
I spent the next couple months learning everything I could from Woo-Ping. Then for the second film, they asked if I would come back and be a double but also one of the stunt coordinators. I thought that was a big deal. And the third one, I got to be one of the stunt coordinators as well. The Matrix Keanu Reeves as Neo in 1999’s ‘The Matrix’ | Credit: Everett Collection What do you remember from working with Keanu on that first film? What I think helped The Matrix and, later on, what influenced me in all the John Wick [films] was that Keanu was trained specifically to do his own martial arts. They were gonna take him to the absolute limit before it was time to shoot. The only times the doubles really came in, we did all the stuff to help with the training — the [camera] line, the rehearsals, test all the wire gear to make sure it’s safe. They’re not gonna throw Keanu Reeves through a wall.
If there’s anything really, really technical, a super-hard piece of wire choreography that required above average [experience], or it’s painful or tricky or there’s a probability of injury, then yes, a double would step in and try to make that move fit to what Keanu could do.
Keanu was coming into this movie healing from a neck injury. He said he was a little concerned about it. Did you have to compensate for certain things because of that? I wouldn’t say compensate, but you plan on it. It’s not a problem when you know it’s a problem.
- Once you acknowledge it, you choreograph around it;
- And Keanu is brutally honest;
- When he says he’s got this, you know he’s got it;
- Are there memories from that first movie that still stick with you? Yeah, a f— load;
I got invited to dailies. The Wachowskis were very open directors, very cool. They wanted everyone to be inspired. They already knew what they were doing was cool, so they were pretty proud of it when they showed it to us. The first couple times of playback, I remember calling my best friends back in the States, going, “I don’t even know how to explain this, but this is cool.
” We’re all big anime fans, Hong Kong action fans. But when I saw the first little clip of what they were doing, it was just like, ‘Yeah, this is something different. ‘ We all knew it. Everybody knew it before the movie was even out.
It was that obvious. When you got the call to come back for the sequels and become even more involved in this process, did you have any specific marching orders for the martial arts choreography? They brought back Woo-Ping and his team. They wanted to go bigger with the wire work.
- They needed a liaison to work between the U;
- teams and the Chinese team to do all the rigging and add in their two cents to what Keanu could and couldn’t do;
- They were also bringing a whole American stunt team to double Agent Smith [ Hugo Weaving ], and I got stuck right in the middle of that, of being the liaison between everybody;
So I got the best of everything. I got to work with the best U. stunt people, the best people in Hong Kong. It couldn’t have been a better opportunity for a 30-year-old stunt guy at the time, as one of my first big jobs that really defined my career. Did you sense a change working on those sequels? The cultural response to the first movie was so big.
Big. Epic. I’m not gonna lie, you felt elated to be a part of it. You were so f—ing proud to be in that movie. When they were doing Reloaded and Revolutions , everybody wanted to be a part of it. It was a three-year commitment: six months of trial and test, a year of shooting, another year of the motion-capture stuff.
It was a big deal. And then you get there and all of us were so excited to be back because we all knew we had made a difference. We knew people were going to remember this in 20, 30 years. Then, of course, you get started and are like, “We better not f— this up.
” There’s a little bit of pressure. The Wachowskis are demanding taskmasters. They have a work ethic that’s second to none. You have to know your s—. If you go down the crew list and do a “where are they now,” I would say at least seven to nine people of the department heads are directing, producing, writing, or are Oscar winners at the top of their game.
That’s no accident. [Production designer] Owen Paterson, [cinematographer] Bill Pope, [visual effects supervisors] John Gaeta and Dan Glass, David Leitch [the Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw director doubled for Weaving on The Matrix ]. We all came from the Matrix world.
You paid attention and you watched and you picked up as much as you could on how to dive into the creative aspect of cinema. That’s the way the Wachowskis formed us. You’ve obviously worked with Keanu a ton since the Matrix on the John Wick movies.
How would you describe your working relationship over the years? I’d be able to give you many different answers for just about anybody else, but you’re talking about Keanu Reeves, who is a complete anomaly in the industry. I’ve had it easy. I’ve had a great f—ing career working with Keanu Reeves.
- I still deal with people who see me as a stunt guy;
- And believe me, I don’t mind that at all;
- But if I met you as my paperboy, and then 10 years later I see you as a novelist, what am I more inclined to treat you as? We may change, but they may see us as the same person they did when we left;
And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s human nature. But Keanu, as far as I can remember in my 27 years of knowing him, has always looked at individuals as individuals in the moment they’re in. Here’s a quick story on the first John Wick. Dave Leitch and I were co-directing it.
- We were super excited;
- We landed Ian McShane;
- We’re big Deadwood fans;
- And Keanu’s always giving little pieces of advice;
- He had one day off on the first John Wick out of our 48-day shoot;
- We’re in New York;
- Dave and I walk to Ian’s trailer;
We’re going to meet him for the first time — new directors, former stunt guys. Who knows what he’s gonna think? It’s 5 o’clock in the morning somewhere in downtown Manhattan. Who’s sitting on the steps? Keanu Reeves on his one day off. Should be sleeping in bed healing.
- I was like, “What the f— are you doing here?” He was like, “I just want to be here and be the ambassador and introduce you guys;
- ” That’s him;
- He was so f—ing cool and wanted to make sure that meeting went well;
I don’t know anybody else who would have done that for us. The Matrix Resurrections Keanu Reeves as Neo in ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures You had The Matrix Resurrections , but you were planning John Wick: Chapter 4 , which started filming after this movie. Was it easy to figure out how you’d come back? I don’t know what you’ve heard, but I am not an actor. I honestly believe to be an even decent director, you should study acting as much as you can ’cause those are your tools, your collaborators.
I’ve taken hundreds of acting courses, had hundreds of conversations with other cast members, read, studied, done as much as I could to get into that mindset so I can speak the language of the cast. I think I’m well versed in speaking the language — I’m just not very poetic in it.
Having been a stunt double for 15 years, I’m very comfortable on camera, but now when it’s just you and finding the character, oh, I’m god-awful. I hate the way I sound. I hate the way I look. It’s terrible. I think it’s Lana’s little gag back at me — that’s what I thought this was.
What was your mindset going back to The Matrix , a movie that propelled you into this space? We all have nostalgic experiences in our life — things you’re proud of, and some things you’re not. That’s one of the things I was very proud of.
I got to work with probably the most intelligent filmmakers on the planet, at least in our generation. Not only did I get to work for them, they actually trained me. My first big second-unit job, I was trained as a director by them. They took a 25-year-old stunt kid — Keanu’s double — and taught me.
- They put me in the edit room, they put me with the VFX guys, they showed me why it was important to watch the fashion channel for wardrobe;
- That’s nuts, man;
- To walk into that set again, to see Keanu, to see Carrie-Anne, you melt a little bit;
Did Lana have the idea to name you Chad in the movie? You gotta ask her exactly why she wants to torture me, or maybe it’s a tribute outta love. I don’t know. Either way, I’m gonna take it like it’s a gesture of love. Love you back! The Matrix Resurrections is currently playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.