Keanu Reeves has portrayed two iconic action heroes in his life, each equally as badass as the other one. There’s no disputing that Neo and John Wick kick all types of ass and can overcome even the most immeasurable of odds. With that in mind, what would happen in the rhetorical situation where Neo snapped the neck of an Agent, who just so happened to be disguised as Wick’s dog?
I think most people would assume Neo destroys John Wick in a showdown. After all, Wick is just a human assassin and Neo is “The One”. He’s quite literally indestructible in the latter films, and as good a fighter as John is, bullets don’t mean much if they can’t touch him. With that said, is there any feasible scenario where John Wick beats Neo in a fight?
Well, of course there is, but the most obvious scenario isn’t the most entertaining. All that would need to happen is John Wick being tasked with killing Thomas Anderson before he's contacted by Morpheus that Agents are out to get him. Even if Morpheus got the jump, it's hard to imagine Mr. Anderson escapes that office building without a bullet between the eyes, courtesy of Mr. Wick. Clearly, there needs to be some ground rules to even the odds.
So perhaps the only fair way to make this matchup happen is by having this conflict between the two go down after Neo gets some of his powers, but doesn't fully recognize he's "The One." That's not ideal, but it's probably the closest we'd get to a fair fight between the two. It's not like most fights John Wick picks are necessarily fair anyway, so I'd like to think the assassin would have no problems with the terms.
With that said, John's only real chance at survival in an encounter with Neo is if he can avoid hand-to-hand confrontation. While there's no defined limit to the power of Neo's punches, it's safe to say his fast reflexes and immense displayed strength would be more than enough to dispose of John as a threat rather quickly. If John's going to be successful in a takedown, he'd need the element of surprise.
That shouldn't be a huge problem, as John Wick is a master tactician and a great student of stealth. This increases the odds that he could get a shot on Neo before he'd see it coming, or John would be able to trick him into some trap scenario that makes him unable to avoid injury. We're talking about a guy who killed three people with a pencil, so John's resourcefulness should not be understated in this hypothetical battle.
Distance would also play a factor, as a scenario where John is close enough to Neo where he can counterattack is not ideal. As mentioned, Neo would end the fight rather quickly, so John would need to keep his distance to prevent getting obliterated. Obviously sniper rifles and other long-range weapons exist, so John could successfully take some shots at Neo and have a bit of distance before Neo bounds down on him.
Unfortunately, long range weapons like sniper rifles probably won't work for John against Neo. As witnessed in The Matrix, distance plays a factor in bullet dodging. An Agent was able to dodge Neo's shots from across the rooftop and wasn't taken down until Trinity shot him at point blank range. While Neo's dodging ability was seen to be far from perfect at that point, one could imagine he could dodge a bullet traveling from a distance and would potentially sense it approaching.
As mentioned though, Neo's bullet dodging ability is a far cry from his ability to stop bullets later on. If John were to get him in an open space and rain hell down on him, he's going to land a few shots. He's too good of a marksmen not to, and if he lands a solid enough shot, then the tables turn in this situation drastically.
Ultimately, John would need to instill fear in Neo and hurt him enough to make him doubt in his abilities and whether or not he's The One. If he can do that, Neo's self-doubt and fear will inhibit his "free mind" and make it much more difficult for him to maintain his powers. Without his powers, he's just a dude who's good with computers, and not much of anything in a fight compared to the battle-hardened John Wick.
John's odds of rattling Neo, especially at this stage in his development, feel incredibly high. John is an intimidating figure in general, and his name alone sends chills down the spine of the criminal elite and the world's greatest assassins. Chances are he could launch an attack so ferocious and so well constructed that he could shake up Neo as well as the entirety of the Matrix considerably.
That makes John a viable threat on his own, and if he's operating in The Matrix under the will of the machines, he may be the solution to enslaving humanity permanently. That doesn't sound like something John would be up for, but if he's just a program designed to correct trouble-making humans in The Matrix, is he really in control of anything he does? Is John Wick actually just a different type of Agent in his film universe?
Think about it: how exactly does this guy keep surviving immeasurable odds? Better yet, how does he always get bailed out just when it seems he's all out of options? Perhaps there's another world in which machines overtook humanity, and they have John Wick around as insurance that "The One" won't pop up in their version of The Matrix. That's it, John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum needs to end with proof that it's all just a simulation!
Or not, and audiences can see if the John Wick franchise holds up better than The Matrix when the new film is in theaters Friday, May 17. For more on the upcoming film, check out what a group of dogs thought about a recent trailer for the threequel.