Why Keanu Reeves Thinks John Wick Is a More “Authentic” Action Film Than Other Films

Keanu Reeves, the star of the John Wick series, commends the franchise’s unique “indie film mentality” that differentiates it from other movies in the action-thriller genre.

Keanu Reeves recently gave an interview with ET, in which he expressed his admiration for the “authenticity” of the John Wick franchise when compared to other action movie series. Reeves particularly praised the “independent movie spirit” of the 2014 action-thriller and its three sequels, describing it as having a “different flavor” that sets it apart. He believes that John Wick is a film that audiences can relate to, thanks to its themes of perseverance, fighting against authority and the importance of survival.

Although indie filmmaking has had a significant impact on the John Wick franchise, Keanu Reeves also credits Japanese cinema, including anime, for influencing the movies. According to the star, the samurai genre has been particularly instructive in the development of John Wick and its sequels because of its emphasis on honor and self-sacrifice. In a previous interview, Reeves explained that bushido, the code of the samurai, is a prominent theme in films, making for a natural fit with the idea of honor and sacrifice. He also noted the strong influence of Japanese culture on the franchise.

Why John Wick Was Made Possible by The Matrix

Keanu Reeves and John Wick director Chad Stahelski has acknowledged the influence of The Matrix movies on the franchise. Stahelski was Reeves’ stunt double during the production of The Matrix trilogy and later worked with The Matrix creators on V for Vendetta and Speed Racer. According to Stahelski, the John Wick films “are definitely children of The Matrix,” owing to the shared creative team and similar visual style.

Although Reeves acknowledges the impact of The Matrix on the John Wick franchise, he also notes the significant differences between the two series, particularly in their fight choreography. While the kung fu training he received for The Matrix was a unique and special experience, he explained in a recent Reddit AMA session that the integration of jiu-jitsu, judo, and gunfights in John Wick is equally impressive in its own way. John Wick: Chapter Four, which incorporates various cinematic influences, including Japanese cinema and anime, will hit theaters on March 24, 2023.

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