The first John Wick movie was released with little fanfare but thanks to a simple yet effective concept, some outstanding action sequences and a strong performance from Keanu Reeves, it quickly became the surprise hit of 2014, paving the way for the upcoming sequel John Wick Chapter 2. With the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Ruby Rose joining the cast and the promise of more intense action this time around, there is considerably more buzz surrounding the sequel than its predecessor.
Of course, if there’s one thing the lead actor in a movie like John Wick needs to know, it’s how to properly use a gun, given that the title character spent the majority of the first movie weapon in-hand, dispatching unnamed baddies like it was going out of fashion. And whatever you may think about Keanu Reeves movie output – or indeed his acting ability – one thing you can’t accuse the man of is being lazy when it comes to preparing for his roles.
A video has now surfaced demonstrating precisely that, with Keanu being tutored on some of the finer points of firearm tactics. Training with Aaron Cohen of Cherries Covert Ops Apparel, Keanu is put through his paces as he prepares to return to the role of ex-Mercenary Wick with three weeks of intense preparation, 40 hours of carbine training and lastly, some room-clearing tactics.
If the video proves anything, it’s that those movie scenes where someone hands a gun to a character who hasn’t used one before and says “just point and shoot” are oversimplifying things just a little. Indeed, the path to looking like an experienced hitman is clearly paved with little details, all of which will hopefully add up to make John Wick Chapter Two even more visceral and powerful than the first movie and Keanu Reeves has clearly thrown himself into the preparation. Having said that, perhaps the ‘look casual, then draw’ routine in the video could use a little work.
With three Matrix movies and a plethora of other action features under his belt, you might think Keanu’s firearm skills would be sharp enough, so to go through such intense training – which was clearly becoming quite frustrating for the actor at times – is hopefully an indication of how much this sequel will ramp up the intensity compared to its predecessor. And with John Wick Chapter Two taking place just four days after the first film, it’s not as if the character’s skills would have had time to rust, even if he does keep trying to go into retirement.
Of course, the success of John Wick wasn’t because of action alone. The film had a genuine, subtle sense of heart that made audiences really care for the title character and hopefully the sequel won’t lose sight of this through the hail of bullets and barrage of punches that will no doubt occur. Clearly, however, Keanu has been hard at work in order to give another praise-worthy performance. If only he’d worked that hard on his accent in Bram Stoker’s Dracula…
John Wick Chapter Two is released in U.S. theaters on 10th February 2017.