John Wick Artillery Trainer Explains Why The Franchise Gets Gunfight Scenes So Right

Keanu Reeves as John Wick

The John Wick franchise has proven incredibly popular, with each installment only doing better than its predecessor at the box office. One of the reasons for this is that the world loves of Keanu Reeves with a fiery passion that knows no bounds, but another reason for this is that the action in the movies is simply incredible.

There's a unique style to John Wick movie action that is absolutely amazing. Keanu Reeves goes through a lot of training to make it all look as good as it does, but while there's clearly a lot of work that goes into making the gun fights look fun and exciting, there's also a lot of work that goers into making them look real.

Taran Butler is a professional three-gun shooter who is responsible for a lot of the gun training in the John Wick films. He tells Task and Purpose it was important that the guns and ammunition actually adhere to reality, this meant giving John Wick the right bullets. According to Butler...

I hated movies where they're gearing up and all you see is a bunch of ball ammo. It drives me out of my mind. Then they're shooting bad guys and there's these giant exploding bullet holes, so I made sure we got hollow points there in time.

It's a detail that most of us wouldn't even bother with. We're used to seeing gun shots do whatever degree of damage the script calls for. Whether or not the bullet in question would ever actually do that level of damage is something the majority of the audience wouldn't consider or worry all that much about.

But for some people, what would otherwise be an inconsequential detail, matters. Seeing that somebody took the time to be sure that the ammunition being used is accurate for the damage being done, evidence that care has been taken with other elements of the story.

Beyond the question of what type of bullets are being used, the quantity of the bullets being used is also important. Taran Butler helped be sure that John Wick comes to the situation with the proper number of clips.

Unlike every other movie where they keep shooting the same gun with one mag for half an hour with no extra mags on their body. Look at how many mags Wick is putting on in John Wick 3. He's puts on like six mags for the Combat Master, and four 41-round mags for the MPX.

This one is probably a bit more obvious to the layperson. We've all seen guns in movies that seemingly never run out of bullets. When you do notice it, it helps reinforce the unreality of the situation, which is never good when you're trying to get lost in an action movie.

We're sure to see a lot more of this sort of high level work, as John Wick Chapter 4 has been given the green light and a release date.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.