With three movies down and a fourth on the way, the John Wick franchise has firmly established itself as one of the top action movie franchises of the moment, and possibly ever. We hadn't seen Keanu Reeves kick that much ass since The Matrix and we largely assumed we never would again. And yet, a smart script with excellent world building, combined with top notch fight choreography, led to the first John Wick movie being a film that, eventually it seems everybody finally saw, and its success has built an empire.
To say that John Wick is a badass might be underselling it slightly, but to be sure, he's not the only one. The world of John Wick is full of countless characters capable of kicking ass and taking names. Let's take a look at the ten biggest badasses in the John Wick franchise so far.
10. The Bowery King
Laurence Fishburne was reunited with his Matrix co-star in John Wick: Chapter 2 when John found himself in need of help from The Bowery King. It turns out that all, or at least many, of the homeless people we tend to ignore on the street are actually secret assassins and The Bowery King is their leader.
Certainly, The Bowery King isn't a fighter like John Wick or most of his enemies. He doesn't run around filling people full of holes., But what makes him a worthy badass for this list is that he's incredibly tough. In John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, we see him get cut down, taking multiple strikes from killers wielding swords, and while we assumed at that point the character was dead, we learn at the end of the film that he is both very alive, and very pissed off.
9. The Adjudicator
Much like The Bowrey King, The Adjudicator never throws down, at least not yet, but what's clear from the way the other character's react to Asia Kate Dillon's character, is that The Adjudicator doesn't need to throw down. Basically, everybody is terrified of the judge that gets sent in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum to deal with the John Wick situation.
The Adjudicator is badass because they know they're badass. If somebody did want to take on the Adjudicator, I have no doubt they'd be in for a fight. You likely don't rise in the ranks of the criminal underworld to a position like this without being able to straight up murder people. It's just that the Adjudicator is so awesome, they don't need to dirty their hands with that anymore. That's what underlings are for.
For two full John Wick movies, Charon is nothing more than the man at the front desk of the New York Continental hotel, and yet, I think we all knew that deep down, Charon could start some shit. He's perpetually calm and collected in the face of some vaguely unhinged assassins. The only way that doesn't get to you is if you know you can take them.
And in John Wick: Chapter - Parabellum, it was finally confirmed that, yes, Charon is just as good a professional death dealer as he is a concierge. He helps John Wick defend the Continental from the army of body armored thugs sent in to get Wick and Winston, and he comes out of it unscathed. He's in better shape that John Wick himself when it's all over. Charon can recommend a good local restaurant and he can also blow your face off with a shotgun. Really, every hotel should have somebody like Charon.
Of all the characters on this list, the one that might be the most easily overlooked is Marcus. He's a fellow professional assassin, and the closest thing that we see to a friend that John Wick has in the first film. Of course, business is business, and Marcus ends up taking the contract to kill his friend, though he has some trouble going through with it.
We don't get a chance to see Marcus much, but Willem Dafoe's character gets to go down swinging at the end of the movie. Viggo Tarasov tortures Marcus, both as punishment for his failure to kill John, and as a way to get John Wick to come out in the open. Marcus gets pretty well beaten down, he's bloody as hell, and he takes a knife in the knee, but in the end, he's not going to go down without a fight. He says, right before his last stand, that he plans to go out on his own. He knows he's going to die, but he plans to take as many people with him on his way out, and he does just that.
You know your character is a badass when that fact is made clear without anybody having to say a word. Ares is the right hand woman of Santino D'Antonio, John's employer/antagonist in John Wick: Chapter 2. Her first priority is keeping her boss safe, a task which she succeeds in for as long as she lives. She's willing to put herself between her boss and John Wick, and she never shows fear.
Ares is smaller than John Wick and while she moves fast, she isn't much of a match for him, but that's exactly why she's badass. She keeps fighting even though she knows she's probably dead. She takes a blade through her hand and still doesn't give up. And the house of mirrors fight sequence is one of the coolest in the John Wick films so far.
It's not exactly shocking that everybody in the real world is a fan of John Wick, but it's maybe a little surprising to learn that even within the fiction of the movies, John Wick has fans. Zero, played by Mark Dacascos in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is one of those fans. He's not ashamed about it at all. Of course, for him the coolest thing that could happen when Zero meets is his hero is that he might kill him.
And while Zero may come across a bit comical, when it comes time to do his job, he shows himself to be a worthy fighter. He is the final adversary John Wick has to overcome in Parabellum and the two have an impressive encounter in a multi-story transparent space. Zero uses the glass to his advantage, and even gets inside the head of the weary Wick. In the end, Zero is defeated, but even a sword that pierces through Zero entirely doesn't actually kill him. He seems to die simply from the blood loss, making a final quip before he expires.
4. Sofia (and her Dogs)
Being in a John Wick movie is no easy feat. From all reports, it's hard word to get into the sort of shape required, but from everything that's been said, Halle Berry took to it with enthusiasm, and while she didn't survive without her share of injuries, the hard work certainly bore fruit in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.
The big fight sequence in which John Wick and Sofia fight side-by-side shows the Casablanca Continental manager to be every bit the trained killer that John Wick is. Her fluid movements with a gun are as beautifully choreographed as anything Keanu Reeves pulls off, and the addition of her trained dogs, which Berry herself was partially responsible for training, makes her that much more dangerous. Sofia doesn't appear to ever want to see John Wick again in her life, but I, for one, certainly hope she might return in John Wick: Chapter 4.
3. The Shinobi
Are we cheating a little bit here? Yes, but it really needs to happen. In John Wick :Chapter 3 - Parabellum Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian are credited as Shinobi #1 and #2, they're the duo that Wick gets into it with just before his final battle with Zero, and If we're going to try and make a list of the most badass people in John Wick movies, you simply can't ignore Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian.
Most martial arts movie fans know the duo from The Raid 2, and they are quite simply some of the best martial arts performers in the world right now. While their characters in John Wick might be nameless, their skills certainly can't avoid comment. The duo fight John Wick to a near stand still, the only people in the movies so far to do that. Wick only barely comes out ahead and in the end, even John respects them, allowing them to walk away from the fight rather than fight to the death.
John Wick is the Baba Yaga of the criminal world because he's a man with a singular purpose. Once he has dedicated himself to a goal, there is nothing that can get him to give up. You're going to have to kill him to stop him. So what happens when John Wick goes up against somebody with the same sort of focus? What happens when John Wick creates somebody with the same sort of focus?
When John Wick kills Gianna D'Antonio, he paints a target on his own back, and Cassian, Gianna's bodyguard, becomes determined to get vengeance on John for the act. He becomes John Wick's personal Baba Yaga in John Wick: Chapter 2. The only way to stop Cassian is to kill him, and that's no easy task. It's not personal for either of them, it's just business, but both are determined to be successful in their business, even if that means taking pot shots at each other in public or getting into it on a crowded subway car.
1. John Wick
I mean, who else could it really be, honestly? As badass as everybody on this list is, a lot of them are dead, and they were made that way by John Wick. Meanwhile, no matter how many times he's been shot or how far he's fallen from the top of a building, John Wick is still very much alive.
Going through everything John Wick has, and killing everybody who tried to stop him, would be enough to make him the most badass on this list. But the most badass thing about him may simply be the fact that he's not done yet. Up until now, John Wick has done everything he did because he had to. He was forced to start a fight that he couldn't get out of. Now, he'd probably be free to walk away, but instead, he's going to go back into the line of fire because now he's mad.
With John Wick: Chapter 4 on the horizon, we're looking at the likely return of some of these badass characters, as well as the introduction of new ones. Perhaps then, we'll have to take another look at who is truly the most badass in the franchise.
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