Why John Wick is the Perfect hero’s Journey
Directed by Chad Stahelski
Starring Keanu Reeves
Budget: 20 million
Box office: 71 million
The film is a vessel for his comeback as an action icon, although the film is extremely low budget produced by Eva Longoria.
The film revolves around John dealing with his wife’s death but before we are introduced to the premise.
We see what appears to be the final frames of the story with John dying from a mortal wound to the belly and apparently bleeding out on the street. He watches a video on his cell phone of his late wife in better circumstances.
Through a quick succession of flashbacks we see her story unfold and in leaving John with no hope and nothing to lose.
A Broken Man. Then a puppy arrives a belated gift from his late wife to help him find love again.
He Bonds quickly with the animal.
We see John still has a dangerous nature with his life threatening stunts, practicing daredevil driving on his muscle car, but the puppy has softened him somewhere…
…until some gangsters decide to steal his car, beat him and kill his dog.
At this point we still know nothing about John. Until the stolen car is taken to a chop shop where the head of the operation recognises it is John Wicks.
While these gangsters and the audience have no idea of John’s true background, this man does.
He sends the gangsters off without servicing the car because he knows the ramifications of the actions of this crime. He knows John Wick and calls the father of the gangster Josef, who stole the car.
Viggo, the father is more of a Russian Godfather. Head of a crime syndicate and put there by the actions of a retiring assassin by the name of John Wick.
Yes, the John Wick. The Bogeyman or as the godfather Viggo puts it the killer of the Bogeyman.
So sets in motion the blind Vengeance of John Wick who like any retired assassin and dog lover does the expected and goes after Josef the son of Viggo.
Viggo puts out a contract out on John. One of the contractors, Marcus (played by William Defoe) is a friend of John and protects him from a distance via sniper rifle until the end of the second act.
John kills Josef and Viggo decides to take out his anger and Grief by killing Marcus and giving John no option but to complete the full cycle of vengeance.
John is like a shark, killing with emotionless abandon and efficiency, but he also bleeds, he suffers as much as his victims and this makes the emotional Stakes substantial.
At the All Is Lost moment, when John crawls from his car before it goes over the edge of a drop, the rain falls.
As a true hero’s journey John Wick has the worst luck but his reputation, the honour and respect he has earned as a master assassin and his incredible skill manage to counter his terrible luck.
Nothing ever goes right for John Wick but he prevails and this makes for the perfect Hero’s journey.