Is John Wick a gentleman?
As the most recent chapter of John Wick, Chapter 4, has just hit our screens, a question came to me. Because I am a fan of Mr. Wick and his universe, I asked myself: is John Wick a gentleman? Here is my answer in the following lines.
The beginnings of John Wick
The character played by Canadian actor Keanu Reeves is certainly one of the most mysterious on the big screen. While we didn’t know much about the assassin’s past. To make a long story short, John Wick is called Baba Yaga (originally a Russian legend) because he is the type of assassin who is sent to kill demons. That is, he is so good at what he does that no mortal is his rival; that the only missions John Wick accepts are missions that no ordinary human could ever accomplish, even if he tried! John also embodies Baba Yaga’s “FEAR” (a woman), not the character herself.
While he has accomplished an incredible task, which we still don’t know about (we may have the answer in the 4th chapter which I still haven’t seen at the time of writing), and retired following this and meeting Helen, his future wife, we arrive, in the first part of the four films, at the moment when she dies of a long illness. This is a pivotal moment.
Before her death, she planned to send John a posthumous gift, a small dog, to prevent him from being left alone. Just as everything was going smoothly, an encounter changed the course of his life. The latter, with assassins (which Mr. Wick was unaware of) results in the fact that the animal is later, in a short assault, killed, and his car, a 1969 Mustang, is stolen.
In order to avenge the death of the last memory of his wife, Mr. Wick starts a quest, where various adventures intertwine and eventually reach the 4th chapter, released on March 24, 2023.
Is John Wick a gentleman? A noble quest
While one might think that John Wick’s films are all about death piling up, it’s worth remembering why he pursues this goal, to find and eliminate the people who killed his wife’s last memory.
But yes there are several deaths throughout the different films, however, there are no civilians, only people who challenged the protagonist to a “duel” or those who wanted to collect a share of the contract put on his head. Because you should know, if you don’t know the universe of John Wick, that he lives in a “sub-world” where there is a certain order, where “The High Table” decides everything: from the money in circulation, to the rules, to the safe places, etc.
It’s a place where rules are respected, there comes a time when John, pushed to the limit, breaks one of these rules and is violently reprimanded, he even has to flee the country in order to escape his aggressors.
Clothes make the man
John is always, or almost always, dressed in a suit, Italian style, measured, perfectly tailored, head to toe, with the tactical equipment (read weapons) he needs to do his job. The gentleman’s look is one hundred percent of his own, even if he has long hair, which is almost always neatly trimmed, but that’s the essence of the character.
A loyal entourage
Mr. Wick is a faithful man, as much with his dog, as with his friends, one can think of Winston, The Bowery King, Marcus, Aurelio, Sofia, Charon (the recently deceased, Lance Reddick) and the doctor. A small circle that he seems to keep very close. It takes trust to get in, it would seem, as his friends disappear as the story progresses. . .
The drink of choice
Another sign of the gentleman, his choice of alcohol. The John Wick series is perhaps one of the reasons why Blanton’s bourbon is increasingly difficult to find on the market. It was, along with Martell cognac, one of the drinks featured in the film series. The demand for these different products has only exploded with the success of the various feature films.
Is John Wick a gentleman? Respect
Yes, he is a killer, but he respects his opponents, and even in their presence, the people around them are important. No fighting with them if there is a danger to the public. This is clearly seen in his battles with Cassian (played by actor Common). While respect is present in many spheres, Wick does not hesitate to cross the line when his opponents do not respect him.
Venues with elegance
Everywhere Mr. Wick goes, when he’s not looking for an enemy, class is the order of the day, whether it’s in the Continental hotels, the garage, the library or whatever. His house is also worth mentioning. The latter, with its minimalist style, is simply magnificent.
Strong women in a man’s world
While in many films where men are at the top of the bill, women are often a prop, in John Wick, the women in the title and supporting roles are strong women. Whether we think of his late wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan), Miss Perkins (Adrianne Palicki), Sofia (Halle Berry), the Adjudicator (played by Asia Kate Dillon whom we knew in Billions) or the Director (played by the sublime Anjelica Huston), they all have a decisive role in the continuation of the story. The presence of the gentlemen’s side is seen in several scenes, as several of the women present are John Wicks equal and he doesn’t hesitate to call on them when the need arises, if they are on the right side obviously.
In short, an excellent series of films that shows us that even if a film is violent, gentlemanly values can be present. And that we can answer “YES” to our question: is John Wick a gentleman?
Photos: ⓒ 2023 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.