By: John M Jerva
With Robb Antequera, AKA The Cinema Drunkie, going on indefinite hiatus while he does his new and high-octane podcast The Action Drunkies, Foot Fist Fridays will be taking a few weeks off as I implement a new plan of attack. I wish him all the best and will be listening and one day I hope to be a guest on it. FFF will return in December as I will continue to work on Robb’s full-throttle idea of talking about some of the greatest fight scenes in cinematic history but for now I would like to introduce everyone to Foot Fist Friday’s younger brother…Firepower Fridays!
That’s right everyone! Firepower Fridays is the new brainchild of mine where we will be discussing some of the greatest shootouts and bullet riddled scenes in action cinema history. Just like FFF, Firepower Fridays will be home to some of the greatest, most high-octane free for all’s involving heavy duty weaponry that we have all come to love and I will include everything from big budgeted blockbusters to indie action goodness.
In December, FFF will return and alternate Fridays with FF so it’s really the best of both worlds as you get bone crunching fisticuffs one week followed by insane shoot ‘em ups the next. It’s a clear win-win for everyone!
To kick off the first ever Firepower Friday, I have chosen a special scene which hails from the first John Wick film which rejuvenated Keanu Reeves’ career and ushered in a new era of kick ass action cinema courtesy of stunt maestros turned filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. The scene of the hour is the first inaugural shootout from the film where Wick dusts off his particular set of skills when his home is invaded by professional killers hired by crime boss Viggo Tarasov played by the late, great Michael Nyqvist. Tarasov is trying to clean up the mess caused by his only son losef (Alfie Allen) who did you know what to Wick. Unfortunately for the men he sent, they receive the full force of the disgruntled and retired assassin who makes them pay dearly for the incredible pain he is feeling.
The scene was our first taste of the greatness that was to come from the franchise and it showcased for the first time, the hyper kinetic action where martial arts and skilled shooting merge to create a new and exhilirating breed of action set piece. Reeves unleashes his trademark carnage which blends the martial art of Jiu-Jitsu with guns for an jaw dropping viewing experience. Reeves trained immensely for the role and it shows as he executes some really impressive moves and using pin point accuracy with his pistol as these poor unsuspecting chaps have literally no idea what hit them. It’s head shots galore here and it is almost comical in a good way because the action is so off the wall that you can’t believe in what you’re seeing.
In terms of action, this scene is rather low key to the more bombastic set pieces we have gotten since but it is more intimate in its execution and for an unsuspecting audience that didn’t know what was going to happen, it was a refreshing answer to the more stale action we were getting before this film emerged and became the sleeper hit it deserved to be. Stahelski and Leitch really took their knowledge of the the stunt world and the craft they sharpened to perfection and threw everything in and the kitchen sink in this first outing.
This scene is also special because, like I said, it was the first time that Wick really cuts loose in the film and the stunts are top tier and nasty in its raw energy. Reeves wasn’t really considered an action Star before this even with starring in Speed and The Matrix franchise but that all changed when he donned the persona of Mr. Wick. The action moves at a rapid fire (pardon the pun) pace and it is truly exhilarating from the get go. It’s like a bloody, brutal ballet with weaponry in its execution and Reeves shows us for the first time that he’s come prepared in this now iconic role.
Now since the first film, the action scenes have gotten more crazier but this scene will always mark the moment when Wick is unleashed for the very first time do this makes it the perfect scene for the first ever Firepower Friday.
That’s enough talk on the subject. It’s time to watch John Wick go full on Grim Reaper in this classic scene from John Wick! Enjoy and welcome to Firepower Fridays!!!