The entire John Wick franchise is a love letter to a bygone era of practical action filmmaking. Led by stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 2 admirably carried that tradition forward earlier this year with an exhilarating sequel that managed to blow away all of our (already lofty) expectations. That said, despite the sheer amount of practical effects and stunt work present in the movie, certain feats still required some movie magic. I recently chatted with John Wick stunt driver Joe Dryden about this, and he explained that the film's opening warehouse chase required dummies and CGI because an awesome motorcycle crash simply proved too dangerous. Dryden said:
Let's make one thing abundantly clear: John Wick: Chapter 2 is an incredibly violent film that does not skimp on chaos or carnage. To accommodate that mission statement, Chad Stahelski, his star and his stunt crew needed to show as much bodily harm as humanly possible. However, throwing a stuntman from a bike, over the door of a moving car and face first into the pavement is too dangerous for even the most seasoned professionals. In the end, common sense won out in this particular scene, and the motorcycle crash stands as one of the few Chapter 2 stunts that Keanu Reeves or the stunt crew couldn't perform -- although Dryden made sure to hammer home the point that he wanted to give it a try before they opted against it.
For a closer look at the stunt in question, check out the aforementioned warehouse chase scene from John Wick: Chapter 2 below!
At the end of the day, I think we can forgive the production of John Wick: Chapter 2 for taking the safe way out on this one particular stunt. The rest of the film feels packed to the brim with innovative choreography and remarkable stunt work. It's abundantly clear just how much everyone involved cared about keeping the film as practical as possible at every turn. From the hall of mirrors chase to Keanu Reeves' cringe-inducing pencil fight, it's all gold. I don't know much, but I already know that this flick will almost certainly go down in the annals of action movie history.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is now available on Digital HD, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD. Pick up your copy today, and make sure to stay tuned for more updates related to the next chapter in this stone cold killer's deadly saga!
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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