There are many articles written about John Wick movies that concentrate on the world-building of these three movies and more upcoming spin-offs, sequels and even a TV show. John Wick is revolutionary in many ways and yet it pays a homage to previous cinematic works (Asian action cinema, westerns and black-and-white movies). The John Wick trilogy is responsible for a lot of things such as resurrection of Keanu Reeves’s career, appreciation of stuntmen and most importantly it shows to the audience that there’s place for action movies with long takes, clear cinematography and little cuts. But that’s not what we are here for today, today it’s gonna be the day, when we try to determine what John Wick movies actually are. If you read the title you might guess what my opinion is.
Establishing John Wick movies
What are John Wick movies? What genre these three movies are? The answer is pretty simple and quite obvious: “action”, but that is not what I am on about, I am trying to get to the secondary genres. Well according to Wikipedia and IMDb, these movies are also thriller, crime and neo-noir, personally I would add revenge and for the first movie drama. Pretty standard right, but here come some differences from other action movies. In a lot of things John Wick movies might be graphic novel adaptations based on no existing novel and best videogame movies based on no videogame.
World of the assassins
One of the most important elements and also beloved of John Wick is the world of assassins, not only it is an original creation, it is also fascinating, how long is this rabbit hole? What started as a little hint of world-building in the first John Wick, now opens before our eyes, more grandiose than anything in any other action movie, I dare to say it, ever. Not only that it is also an explanation for some more, let’s say questionable, decision in an action movie for example: “In first Taken movie there is established that female foreign tourists are regularly kidnapped in Paris” problem comes when you ask is this set in real world? There is no sense of fictitious world, because I don’t believe that the United States and other countries would let this simply fly. This however isn’t criticism of the first Taken movie, the point of the movie is something different “kidnapping and rescuing someone” while the world is put in the back. In John Wick movies the world is almost another character, overarching narrative and consequences waiting for main character.
So, what is the John Wick franchise? As far as I’m concerned, I consider John Wick as something relatively new, genre of “action-fantasy”. John Wick movies have more common with Harry Potter than with for example Taken, why? Because John Wick and Harry Potter worlds feel like our own reality with a dose of fantasy, it is our world but something is different, creators and screenwriters of John Wick made a great decision to turn John Wick into more and more fantastical. Only thing I am bit concerned about how far it can get, but if it’s gonna stay on Earth and doesn’t do anything contradictory to the established lore or history, I believe in the John Wick franchise and honestly cannot wait for what is coming next!
Until then keep watching the John Wick trilogy!