The Battle Style Of John Wick’s Fighting Scenes
John Wick is arguably one of the most action packed movies we’ve seen in a while with more violence than the Iberian Religious war. Reeves goes up against some of the baddest professional fighters in the game and it’s been reported that he even did some of his own stunts. But when asked about it, Reeves says “I haven’t done any stunt work… I don’t do any stunts.” He says even further, “If I’m doing it, it’s not a stunt. Stunt men do stunts.”
So what did Reeves do? In his own words, he says “I get to do some physical acting. I get involved in some action, but they’re not stunts. I flip over guys, I get flipped, I run, I jump, I play.”
What Exactly Is John Wick’s Unique Fighting Style?
You probably already know this, but former stuntmen Chad Stahelski and David Leitch directed the first John Wick movie as a duo, but for the sequel, Stahelski, who started out as Reeves’ stunt double in the Matrix movies, got sole credit.
In the John Wick movies he uses a fighting style coined as “Gun-Fu” which was orginated by John Woo back in the late 80’s. You can see it used in movies like A Better Tomorrow and The Killer. It’s a blend of fast-paced martial arts with firearms to create a single fighting system.
Director Chad Stahelski describes Gun-fu as a combination of “Japanese jiu-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tactical 3-gun, and standing Judo.” What came out of the John Wick movies were some traditional and some experimental variations of all three, but amped up for the big screen.
Regardless of how much of the stunt work Reeves did or didn’t do, the outcome is pretty awesome. Check out below some of the behind the scenes work that went into getting the final outcome for the John Wick movies.