I’m not going to judge people for how they use their time, but if you’re a fan of action movies and you haven’t seen John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum yet… Well, it just came out this week, so I won’t judge you harshly.
A bunch of the other editors and myself have already seen it, and it’s as badass as you hoped.
But if you’re into the John Wick movies, you’re probably a fan of hardcore action films, and so I’m going to sling out some suggestions for other badass movies to watch.
Some of these are more hardcore than others, but I maintain that they share similarities to
John Wick in at least one way or another.
Hard Boiled (1992)
You could pick basically any John Woo shoot-em-up shot in the late 1980s or the early 1990s, but
Hard Boiled is truly special. An insane tale of cops vs. gangsters in Hong Kong, Hard Boiled is a must-see for one reason above everything:
The hospital shootout.
Hard Boiled features a two-minute long gunfight shot in a single take in a hospital, and this movie was made before CGI was advanced enough to correct errors in long-take scenes. All of the exploding debris, fake blood, blanks, and more are all in camera. It’s an epic gunfight that has influenced almost every major action movie since, and you can bet the John Wick films absolutely fall into that category.
Police Story (1985) and Police Story 2 (1988)
While far less violent then
John Wick in the gore department, all Jackie Chan movies, and especially the first two Police Story films, have one key thing in common: Improvised weaponry.
This isn’t exclusive to Jackie Chan movies, but the way Jackie Chan can turn anything and everything in an environment into a weapon is beyond stunning. And Chan’s death-defying stunt work is the stuff of legends, with one scene in
Police Story almost killing the actor (he literally stopped breathing).
And… I’ll just let these GIFs speak for themselves.
Yeah, watch Jackie Chan movies, but the first two Police Story movies in particular are unbelievably impressive.
The Villainess (2017) The Villainess is one of many MANY badass South Korean action films in the last several years, but The Villainess absolutely inspired a scene in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. I present to you, a GIF from The Villainess:
And a GIF from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum:
The scene in the new John Wick is clearly an homage to The Villainess’ standout sequence where the main heroine faces off against assassins on motorcycles brandishing swords. And a damn good homage at that.
The Night Comes For Us (2018)
The most recent movie I’ll be recommending comes with a big warning up front.
The Night Comes For Us is NOT for the squeamish.
There is enough gore in this movie for ten movies, and if you don’t believe me, I’ll just mention that the film’s first major brawl takes place in a literal slaughterhouse, and every available weapon from butcher knives to a cow hoof are used with brain-splattering results.
This film is for people who feel that the John Wick films skimp on the gore. The story barely exists and has a confusing internal mythology that’s lightly explained at best, but the wall-to-wall action scenes that make up the bulk of the movie are beyond insane and more than make up for the faults.
Also, it’s a Netflix movie, so you can watch this one a lot more easily than the others I’ve listed, which can be annoying to track down.
It also shares cast members from the final recommendation I’ll be throwing out there, and this one is mandatory for action fans everywhere…
The Raid: Redemption (2011) and The Raid 2 (2014)
The first Raid movie,
The Raid: Redemption, is one of the best low-in-scope action films I’ve ever seen. Taking place almost entirely in a single apartment complex filled with criminals and a ruthless gang lord, it is the high water mark of balls-out martial arts in the last several years.
And The Raid 2 is even crazier. It’s much longer than the original due to a heavier emphasis on story, but that story is better than it has any right to be, but it’s not exactly Academy Award winning material.
But the fights got even bigger, with a full-blown prison riot outdoors that would normally be the climax to any other movie, but is planted firmly in the first half of
The Raid 2. The escalation of insanity here is unbelievable, but this series has a very direct connection to John Wick.
See those two men about to fight John Wick in the new movie? They are both cast members from The Raid films, and one of them was the fight choreographer for The Raid films, Yayan Ruhian, a man that I’d never want to encounter one-on-one in real life. In any case, it’s not a coincidence that the John Wick movies pulled cast members over, The Raid films are considered some of the best modern action movies in the world.
Speaking of which…
If there’s a John Wick 4, Iko Uwais from The Raid films better show up, because that man has charisma for days and is an unbelievable martial artist (oh, and he’s also in The Night Comes For Us). Seriously, he absolutely deserves to fight John Wick, and I’d pay to see that by itself.
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