Ranking all the John Wick franchise films from worst to best

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4. Photo Credit: Murray Close
Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4. Photo Credit: Murray Close /

We discuss the John Wick franchise and try to rank the great action in movie history.

There are few action film experiences like Chad Stahelski’s homage to John Woo’s most incredible creation, Gun Fu, and Watchoswski’s themes of debate of how forces begin to fight one’s free will. Stahelski popped the top off a tremendous graphic novel multiverse we never knew existed until John Wick started to avenge the loss of his beloved pooch. Unfortunately, with health insurance, John couldn’t find a well-qualified therapist that would have to help him realize he was probably projecting the loss of his wife, which led to 308 kills through the first three films. (The fourth chapter feels like it exceeds that quickly).

Here at Hidden Remote, we decided to rank every film I call the greatest action franchise in the history of Hollywood.

Ranking all the John Wick franchise films

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum is essentially a martial art Western trapped inside a fluorescent-colored neo-noir, anchored by a physically demanding performance by Keanu Reeves. With the barrage of summer action films and comic book fare, you tend to become immune to practically cartoonish actions. The third chapter’s action is so relentless in sequences they make for a visceral experience that is a lightning bolt to the senses.

John Wick: Chapter 2

The second chapter of this martial arts neo-noir western unabashedly dives headfirst into its graphic novel-esque lore. Our retired hitman has to fulfill an unfortunate blood oath with a ruthless crime lord, Santino D’Antonia, forcing him back into his old life. Another banger on the Wick-verse, with one of the most enticing cliff-hanger endings ever made (“excommunicado”). The second chapter is one of the great follow-ups ever done, though, after four films, the second installment feels like the first because it kicked off the film’s now legendary mythology.

John Wick: Chapter 1

I had a hard time choosing between the last chapter and the original. Kicking off a franchise that consistently delivers on its promise, topping its penchant for Gun “Fu-lery.” The original Written by Noboby scribe Derek Kolstad, the original’s searing bullet ballet is a metaphor for Wick’s grief of getting over his beloved dog’s death and the loss of his beautiful wife, Helen. (Played by Blue Blood’s Bridget Moynahan). The original allowed our Hawaiin Soft Breeze to find another franchise to entertain the masses in a physically demanding role that few people could drive for a decade. All these years later, the scene where Wick fights his way out of a nightclub is still killer.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Director Charles Stahelski is a former stuntman, cutting his teeth in over 70 movies, including Reeve’s student double in The Matrix films. The fourth (and final?) chapter is not so much plot-driven as it is an extension of the previous third chapter. And with that, you have an eye-opening running time of 169 gloriously bloody fluorescent minutes. However, at least four action sequences that last at least 30 minutes or more.

These scenes are spectacular to watch and utterly immersive from beginning to end. You have a savage battle and the unexpected dark wit from Shay Hatten and Michael Finch’s script, with John Wick battling his way up endless stairs to what the High Table considers almost a certain death. The best running across dangerous moving traffic since Steve Martin taped Eddie Murphy doing it in the Frank Oz classic Bowfinger. And a Gun Fn stylized battle to check out of a hotel for the ages. The combination of stunt-driven action and supporting special effects is an intoxicating ride.

What do you think of our ranking of the John Wick franchise? Comment below!

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