How John Wick Completely Raised The Bar For Martial Arts Movies

the John Wick The franchise has raised the game for action movies, and it’s proven to be particularly influential for martial arts films. the John Wick The series is one of the main factors in the revival of Keanu Reeves’ career, with John Wick now being one of Reeves’ most iconic characters. Although the first John Wick arriving in 2014 with little expectation, action films now regularly emulate the formula and style it established.

the John Wick movies use many types of action and stunts. However, one of the unequivocally strongest components of John Wick movies was their approach to martial arts. Under the direction of veteran stuntman Chad Stahelski (and, in the case of the first John Wickfellow stuntman David Leitch), the John Wick the movies didn’t just deliver outstanding martial arts fights. The franchise itself raised the bar for martial arts action movies across the board, and even began to rival other series like The Expendables.

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John Wick is certainly not the first martial arts focused series to do this, but when it comes to what measure stick action fans are using now, John Wick is the standard to be met. The franchise as a whole has been quite meticulously crafted, and with its approach to martial arts in particular, there are a few elements that have helped push it to where it is. here’s how John Wick was able to raise the bar for martial arts movies.

John Wick’s martial arts strikes the perfect balance between flash and realism


Keanu Reeves in John Wick 2 picture

Keanu Reeves’ martial arts training for Neo in The matrix the movies literally took him to new heights. In The matrix series, Keanu Reeves and his comrades often fly across the screen in the franchise’s heavyweight martial arts sequences. Devoid of sci-fi or fantasy elements and telling the story of a legendary assassin, the John Wick movies had no place for wire-fu. Thus, the combat sequences in the John Wick movies generally obey the laws of physics with grounded and plausible martial arts combat. That being said, the series also doesn’t give up the right amount of glitz needed to make an action scene really pop.


Although John and his opponents do not defy gravity in the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meaning, the martial arts sequences of John Wick are always breathtaking. John Wick keeps its fight scenes realistic in terms of what is and isn’t humanly possible, but still makes full use of the abilities of the on-screen fighters. Audiences see the full extent of what John and other characters can do in terms of kicks, throws, and stunts, as the franchise is always eager to show off the art of martial arts. Keanu Reeves’ training for John Wick also remodeled his on-screen fighting style, allowing him to showcase a whole new set of fighting skills than he had as Neo. In today’s action movie landscape, John Wick keeps his action as grounded as possible while giving him the flair he needs to stand out.


John Wick brought Gun-Fu and martial arts together better than ever


John Wick isn’t strictly about punching, kicking, and throwing in its action scenes. Being so heavily imbued with a world full of assassins, the John Wick the movies are also big on an assortment of weapons, particularly guns. More precisely, John Wick is big on gun-fu. Many of the franchise’s gun-fu battles even look like they were lifted from a John Woo movie. What makes the gun-fu of John Wick even better is the fact that it’s frequently integrated into the franchise’s main martial arts fights.

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One such example is in John’s first confrontation with one of the villains, his fellow Cassian (Common) assassins, in John Wick: Chapter 2. As the two grapple to the ground, John pulls out his handgun to fire at his opponent, who obstructs John’s arm with his leg. The franchise has also fused gun-fu and hand-to-hand combat into other big settings, like the nightclub battle in the first. John Wick or the Moroccan enclosure war in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Even when movies go downright gun-to-hand in their action scenes, the transition is very smooth, usually involving a massive gun-fu sequence preceding a martial arts fight. When it comes to gun-fu, John Wick not only is with the best, but also knows how to relate it to the martial arts of the series in an organic and intelligent way.


The martial arts styles of the John Wick films are very diverse


In addition to the deliciously orchestrated martial arts of John Wick movies, they also incorporate a wide range of martial arts disciplines. The first one John Wick was very focused on grappling-oriented fighting styles, such as judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. At the same time, the film also used martial arts with a more striking emphasis, such as karate and tae kwon do. John Wick 2 lined with another eclectic mix of martial arts, while Parabellum pushed him further than ever. At the end of the first three John Wick movies, audiences had seen everything from kung fu to ninjutsu to silat, used in the series, a trait almost unheard of in Western action movies. Testimony to the popularity of MMA in action films (entering with the help of Donnie Yen) and the interest in mixing different martial arts, the John Wick The franchise spares no effort to incorporate all possible martial arts.


From this distinction, the John Wick movies have also become the favorite haunt of famous martial artists in action movies. Parabellum brought on board Mark Dacascos, Tiger Chen, Roger Yuan, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman, all well-known names to martial arts fans who each injected their own martial arts knowledge into the film. John Wick: Chapter 4 continues this by having Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror in its cast. Although the film has been delayed to 2023 from its original May 2022 date, its anticipation not only illustrates how the John Wick the cinematic universe delivers on everything it promises. It also shows that when it comes to martial arts in contemporary action movies, John Wick franchise is the best game in town.

the John Wick the films had an incredible impact on action movies, but how much they brought martial arts to the big screen is one of their most impressive feats. With at least two more films in the series on the way (as well as a prequel series, The Continental), the John Wick the franchise still has a long way to go. With so many incredible martial artists on the show, fans of the franchise can definitely expect John Wick continue to be the gold standard of martial arts films for the foreseeable future. How the franchise could top that achievement is a good question, but Wick jeans 5 being a team movie could be a good start.


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  • John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)Release date: March 24, 2023

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