In preparing for my guest appearance on Mike Phillips’ Just End The Suffering podcast, I rewatched all three of the John Wick movies. Not a task worth complaining about at all!

If you want to take a listen to Mike and I talk about Mr. Wick…check out my latest blog or click below!

A man of focus, commitment and sheer will…I have signified 16 big fight sequences from the three John Wick films. Here are my rankings of them from worst (not bad by any means) to best. Yes, I am going to make you scroll all the way to the bottom.

No. 16
Viggo’s Church
John Wick (2014)

I want to reiterate that there is nothing bad about this worst scene. Still thoroughly enjoyable! However the best bit of this sequence is when Wick just shoots the priest in the leg like crazy mad man. Then when the priest asks “Do you think you scare me?”, Wick just turns around, kills a guy attempting a rise, then grunts back at him.

No. 15
Final battle with Viggo at the helipad

John Wick (2014)

Dare I say, a disappointing climax to John Wick the movie? I think so. The chasing down and killing people rolling over the top of the cars is wonderful, but the fist fight between Wick and Viggo is a tad bit underwhelming. I understand that sentiment of fighting on even ground and be a true test of manhood, but I wanted a tad bit more OOMPH.

No. 14
Wick vs. Perkins
John Wick (2014)

I love Perkins as a character, wish we could have gotten more of her! Love this scene because Perkins actually does get the drop on Wick and only Marcus’ purposeful arid shot warned the hero.

Perkins gets a lovely jab into the wounded side of Wick, again proving she is worth some metal. She even gets to escape in the end being her mischievous self.

No. 13
Wick using a horse
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Alright I am probably going to get flack for this one…but too bad. It was the picture that went viral before John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and it had everyone up in a tizzy. The scene is fun for sure with Wick slapping horses to snap bad guys necks, and him using it to outrun motorcycles…but it is a wee bit too convenient for me. Like, John Wick is Superman, I get it. But through my laughing I was thinking in the back of my head, this is ABSURD!

No. 12
Motorcycle chase with Zero’s men
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

This is the better chase scenes in JW3. The precursor to this sequence is the interaction between Zero and Wick in Grand Central when it’s just a wonderful show-off feast of invisibility. Wick arriving in all black showing he is on the dark side now, turning to help The Elder, and Zero is there just ogling at the idea of taking him out for The Adjudicator.

This chase scene is not as long and robust, but it flows better for me. He is on the run and the kill where he pulls the guys head back and shoots behind the helmet. Just great.

No. 11
Mr. Wick defends his home
John Wick (2014)

The first taste of the Baba Yaga. Viggo, in his first attempt to thwart John Wick pursuing his stupid ass son, send goons to his house. Well, that is incredibly unwise.

The first true fight scene of John Wick and we get a sense of what this hit man can truly do. He admits to being rusty in a later scene, but he still takes down a series of men like they are a cup cake at the elementary school birthday party.

What makes this scene even better is the story Viggo tells Iosef about the Boogeyman. Or rather…the one you send to kill the Boogeyman. I watch this seven minute sequence of that story being told and Wick mashing cement at least once a month, and this fight scene after cements its legacy even more.

No. 10
“Yea, I’m thinking I’m back.”

John Wick (2014)

This is strictly for the phrase: “Yea, I’m thinking I’m back!” I use this line like Highlander (1986) “There can be only one!”

People may quack at this scene being picked because it is so short, but it is important. It sets the tone that Wick is back in his world assassins and killing. Also in the plot of John Wick, I totally forgot about Marcus till he came through to help John. Nice little bit of clever story telling.

No. 9
Wick gets his car back

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

How do you build upon a cult classic action hit? By directly continuing the story line the predecessor started and making the opening sequence so incredibly fucking cool.

The very blatant homages to Western movie making are there right from the get go. Wick literally enters the fray only by his steed, then we only see his boot and we don’t see his face until nearly seven minutes in when he walks out of the darkness.

He is literally the man with no name who enters the story to twangy duel style music. Then after kicking ass to get his car back (which is synonymous with a cowboys steed) he walks into the room with Abraham (Peter Stormare) to that same Western twang. The opening sequence ends with the hero walking out the boss’s room, like cowboy walking out of the saloon, and the bad guy tipping over his shot glass like he knows he just lost the game (aka chess).

No. 8
Wick on the run back avoiding bounties

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

When Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) puts the seven million dollar bounty of Wick’s head after he hired him to kills his own sister…well that was just rude.

However, it did lead to a fantastic montage of wonderful Wick kills!

We get Wick literally killing with a pencil, allowing the audience to live the story told by Viggo and Abraham. We get Wick killing a sumo wrestler and avoiding countless more.

But what makes this sequence enjoyable most is Common as Cassian. His character is exceptionally cool, and now on a vengeful fate of redemption for his ward, he is just that much cooler. The “professionally courtesy” quip to end it is wonderful touch.

No. 7
Museum chasing of Santino
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

After the Bowery King yells “GET THIS MAN A GUN” in one of the best lines of the entire franchise, we get to see Wick in action in a beautiful museum of modern art. Soon all the culture will be painted red with blood, and again it is going to be D’Antonio on the run.

All the killing in the open spaces are cool, but this fight scene ranks so high because of its final moments in the mirror room. A wonderful reference to Enter The Dragon (1973) and the legend of Kung Fu himself, Bruce Lee.

The editing and directing in this sequence is most remarkable. It is innovative, uses angles fantastically. I can imagine that lighting it was incredibly hard.

Also at the end of the scene, we get a final little touch with the sign language “I’ll be seeing you.” Again the good one-liners to end a fight scene.

No. 6
The Continental gun fight
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Charon kicking ass!!! The initial infiltration of the The Continental is very cool in its staging, but once the killing starts…that is were the wonderful madness begins.

Wick, Charon and the hotel staff are not prepared for the upgraded henchman attacking them, and seeing them understand that, adjust and kill regardless is so satisfying. The Wick kill pulling up the eye guard is so quick but so wonderful. Wick is peppering these people with bullets like jabs in a boxing match; no that I am typing it, it makes the scene even better. Like how a boxer doesn’t have a plan till he gets hit in the mouth…Wick had to adjust his “hunting” plan and still managed to be the Baba Yaga.

No. 5
The Continental fist fight
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Let’s continue the adrenaline rush that is the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

The hand-to-hand combat at the administrative level of The Continental are so well choreographed and brutal. The use of the glass, mirrors and shadows. The swords scraping against the glass and leaving the etchings. The duplicity of people fighting while having to look at themselves is nice, and again the mirrors may be a reference to Enter The Dragon.

The fight between Zero and Wick has so many wonderful small callbacks to subtle moments in the story. Whether it be the hiding in the shadows, the “I’ll be seeing you again” line, the samurai outfit literally referencing much of the inspiration for the films last moments.

The ending to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum tells a story through its action. It is in a unique club when it comes to that regard. It tells the story of the Wick and his character in the way he fights these men. The respect for the fight, the respect for the rules.

No. 4
Red Circle
John Wick (2014)

The scene that made me fall in love with John Wick. This is it.

This scene has everything that make John Wick remarkable. The setting is loud, crowded and convoluted, yet the action is easy to follow, sleek and simple. Adapting to the setting, Wick shows his physical and mental prowess terrorizing Iosef.

But the score in this Red Circle scene is amazing. I have used it for a handful of videos before as background noise. It is pulsating. Its erotic in a way.

This scene made me fall in love with John Wick. For it I am eternally thankful.

P.S. It is also worth noting he doesn’t actually achieve his mission here.

No. 3
Escaping after killing Gianna D’Antonio
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

The catacombs is such an amazing setting, and this here is the highlight of John Wick: Chapter 2. Just starting with Wick walking in the dark to a pulsating beat…then running into Cassian.

“John”
“Cassian”
“You working?”
“Yeah. You?
“Yeah.” Pause “Good night?”
“Afraid so.”
“Sorry to hear that.”

Then let the gun fire ensue. This little seven minute stretch escaping the concert then going into the catacombs and escaping D’Antonio’s henchmen and Ares is wonderful cat and mouse. The concert crowd cheers as Wick kills the men on stage as we cheer him on surviving those chasing after him.

Wick knows he is a lose end, but he was prepared. This shootout reminded me most of a video game, just bad guys coming around every turn and hill and the hero constantly changing weapons and charging ahead through the fray.

What I think I love most about the catacombs sequence is how every single little moment of the sommeliers “suiting up scene” comes into play. The language they share about “the tasting” is childishly delightful. The different types of guns for the different scenarios; some robust and precise, something big and bold for the end of the night, and then of course the desert.

Oh, and the suit: “How about the lining?” “Tactical.”

No. 1A
The knife fight
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Oh god I love this. Starting off with the literal Western style revolver to kill the first guy…then divulging into pure knife mayhem.

The music is slow till we get into the hallway of knives and then there is no music. It is just glass and bones breaking combined with some grunts and errant gun shots.

I love how not ever single knife connects, but once Wick gets in a groove, he is like a pitcher who cant miss his spot. That falling to the ground double sidearm swipe (Wick is ambidextrous it appears!?) is just followed by constant sharp precision!

Oh…and Wick LITERALLY hammering home a knife into a guys skull!? The final kill of the knife going into the eye too…I mean so brutal. and then a two-handed axe throw for a punctuation mark. Chef’s kiss.

No. 1B
Casablanca
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

This was an incredible tough decision. Like very hard. The knife fight and this are 1A and 1B in my book. But the reason this Casablanca fight scene sits number one for me is two fold: 1.) how long it is and the fluidity of it, and 2.) there are mother f’in killer dogs that kick total bad guy ass!

Those who know me well know that I am not a dog person per say…but when Sofia (Halle Berry) whistles and the job jumps on her back to get a bad guy on the ledge, I left out of my seat. Seriously in the 2,151 movies I have seen, I do not recall another fight scene that uses dogs like this. They are leaping and bounding all over tables and obstacles and still just biting people’s private parts.

Also had we seen John Wick work with a partner so closely like this before in an action scene? He and Sofia have permanent eyes in the back of their heads and their awareness is at 100 with bonus attached.

This scene is also an example of how comedy is intertwined in the action. When Wick is reloading simultaneously with the bad guys and he just does it faster and kills the pair of them. The Sofia does the same thing reloading over a soon to be dead guy. And let’s be real, men getting hit in the nuts is usually really funny, and now we have it happening to bad guys, via dogs with Halle Berry leading them.

“John Wick” IMDB
“John Wick” Rotten Tomatoes

“John Wick: Chapter 2” IMDB
“John Wick: Chapter 2” Rotten Tomatoes

“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” IMDB
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” Rotten Tomatoes

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