You may not notice it because two to three years pass between each installment of the John Wick franchise, but one thing that stands out about the franchise thus far is that the stories have all been set one right after the other. With the exception of the international travel that the Keanu Reeves character does, and a quick spell of unconsciousness in John Wick: Chapter 2, the movies haven’t really utilized any time jumps, meaning that only days/a couple weeks have passed between the inciting incident of the first film and the finale of the third. It adds an interesting new dimension when reflecting on the series, particularly when taking into consideration all of the major injuries that have been inflicted on the titular hero.
While John Wick does have some special safety gear in the form of a bulletproof suit, and access to a doctor who provides him with advanced medication, he has taken a lot of damage through the events of John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2, and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and while we wait for John Wick: Chapter 4 to be made we figured we’d take the time to look back on all of that punishment he has received:
Knockout Blow To The Head
While it’s generally downplayed in movies, taking a knock to the head so bad that you lose consciousness is a really bad thing – and it also happens to be an injury sustained by John Wick right before the start of his roaring rampage of revenge, as he gets knocked out shortly after his dog is killed. It’s weird to think that the character may be suffering from a concussion throughout his adventures, but that also kind of makes him even more of a badass.
Stabbed With A Bottle, Thrown Off A Balcony
The sequence at the Red Circle Club in the first John Wick is where audiences first got to see the raw abilities of the would-be franchise’s protagonist – and part of that means forgetting that the sequence doesn’t end particularly well for him. While he’s able to take out a whole lot of enemies, John’s pursuit of Alfie Allen's Iosef Tarasov is ended when Daniel Bernhardt's Kirill gets in the action and not only manages to do some damage with a broken champagne bottle, but also throw our guy off of a balcony.
Hit By Multiple Cars
Most of the entries on this list focus on single incidents in the trilogy of movies we’ve thus far, but this one groups a few of them together. While John Wick may be a great driver (as will be discussed further down), the guy doesn’t have a great deal of luck with cars given that we have seen him get hit by a couple of them over the years. Beyond one of the hits knocking him unconscious – again, really not good for your brain – it’s not specifically shown what damage is done, but the incidents aren’t exactly love taps.
Stabbed In The Gut
Given the necessity of staying in fighting shape, John Wick works pretty damn hard to avoid being too seriously injured whenever he is in combat, but in the final fight against Michael Nyqvist's Viggo Tarasov in the first movie features an exception. Needing to neutralize the knife in the hand of his enemy, John opts to let himself get stabbed in the stomach just so that he can break Viggo’s arm and then pull the weapon out to use himself.
Multiple Car Crashes As A Driver
As noted, John Wick is seriously slick when he is behind the wheel of an automobile, but he can also be pretty reckless. Between the third act of John Wick and the opening of John Wick: Chapter 2, we see him get in multiple car collisions, and while it’s true that the machines do wind up taking the majority of the physical damage, it’s impossible to believe that the wrecks don’t leave John without at least a few serious bruises and/or cuts that aren’t directly shown.
Thrown Through Glass By An Explosion
Riccardo Scamarcio's Santino D'Antonio is pretty damn explicit in John Wick: Chapter 2 when he tells our hero about the consequences of not fulfilling his sworn blood oath, and while it’s bad enough that the guy winds up using a grenade launcher to destroy John’s house, one of the shots also successfully launches the skilled assassin through plate glass. Between the force of the blast and the shards of window, it all definitely looks painful.
Thrown Down A Super Long Set Of Steps
John Wick’s fights with Common’s Cassian in John Wick: Chapter 2 provide some of the best moments that we’ve seen in the franchise thus far, and that very much includes the fall that the two take down a supremely long set of concretes steps while duking it out in Rome. Just the duration of the incident looks super painful, and it’s amazing that either of them can stand let along continue to fight once the tumble is over.
Shot In The Stomach
When John Wick returns to the United States after his business trip to Rome in Chapter 2, he quickly finds himself embroiled in a number of brutal fights – and that leads to him sustaining one of the most painful looking wounds in the franchise. During the montage that sees Baba Yaga take down two guys with a pencil and a sumo wrestler-type with a full clip, we also see him take a bullet right in the gut courtesy of the assassin disguised as a violin player.
Stabbed In The Leg
As noted here, Cassian gets a few good licks in when he’s fighting John Wick, as he not only pushes him down the aforementioned stairs, but also is driving one of the cars that slams into him. His work doesn’t end there, though, as the third and final big injury he delivers comes when he is on the subway train with our protagonist. Shortly before taking a knife to the heart, he manages to stick a blade right in John’s thigh, which looks like it smarts pretty damn bad.
Stabbed In The Shoulder
The opening of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is total chaos for our hero, as he finds himself dodging attack after attack following the Excommunicado declaration, but before the free for all even starts John receives one of his worst wounds in the franchise when the giant Ernest (Boban Marjanovic) stabs him in the shoulder. It’s damage that gets taken care of rather quickly, as the next sequence sees the Continental Doctor (Randall Duk Kim) stitch it up, but still…
Fell Off A Building
In case you forgot, things didn’t exactly end well for John Wick in the final moments of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Standing on the roof of The Continental, he is betrayed by Ian McShane's Winston, and after a few bullets are deflected by his special suit he has no choice but to jump over the ledge, hitting awnings and a fire escape on the way down. Needless to say, he’s in far worse shape at the end of the third movie than at any other point in the series.
How is John Wick still standing and ready to wage war with The Bowery King at the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum? The answer is obviously “it’s a movie” – and we can’t wait for more of it. John Wick: Chapter 4 is lined up for release on May 27, 2022, and we’ll continue to provide you with updates as the project gets further into development.