Watch Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski break it down.
If you’re looking for cool stuff to watch while you’re staying inside, you could do a lot worse than throwing the John Wick trilogy on your screen. Even if you’ve already seen all of them, there’s so much action onscreen most of the time that you’ll probably notice something new with repeated viewings.
For movie fans in general, it’s interesting to note how far CGI has come, even just over the span of Keanu Reeves’ career. Going from Trinity’s Ducati 996 chase scene in The Matrix: Reloaded to the Yamaha MT-09 and swordfight sequence in John Wick 3: Parabellum is an impressive leap in believability and bridging the uncanny valley-ness of it all.
In this helpful featurette, John Wick series director Chad Stahelski, Reeves, and others on the production break down how the team made it all work. Like a lot of creative people with tight budgets, they drew inspiration from someone else’s work. A certain sequence in the 2017 Korean action movie The Villainess completely blew their collective minds and informed what they wanted to do.
Much like figuring out how to play a riff from your favorite song by ear, the team worked to reverse-engineer how that scene had worked. Doing that set them up to figure out how to accomplish their own version. They didn’t want to copy; they wanted to learn, and so that’s what they did. The result is a fascinating mix of intricate choreography involving cast, crew, motorcycles, swords, and a crack digital effects team.
What’s particularly great is that while you’re watching John Wick 3, some part of your brain knows it’s movie magic, but it flows along so effortlessly that you’re happy to just go along for the ride. If that isn’t the kind of forget-your-worries motorcycle-related entertainment we could all use right now, I’m not sure what is. Cuddle your puppy, get your snacks, and settle in.