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John Wick: Chapter 4's Finale Was Inspired By An Unexpected Video Game

Mild spoilers ahead for "John Wick: Chapter 4."

The "John Wick" franchise is unstoppable at this point, with reviews hailing the latest installment as a new high point. Keanu Reeves returns as the titular assassin in this weekend's "John Wick: Chapter 4," and video game fans may be excited to learn that there's a little something in the new one just for them. 


In the film's last act, John has to blast his way through waves of enemies in order to get to an appointed duel at sunrise.  As Baba Yaga makes his way through an abandoned building, the camera takes a very new perspective on the action. Here, director Chad Stahelski shoots the fight from above, allowing John's incendiary shells to light much of the action and giving the whole sequence the feeling of a top-down arcade game. The gleefully violent scene will feel familiar to gamers who have put a decent amount of time into run-and-gun titles like "Hotline Miami." As it turns out, videos games were definitely on the crew's mind when this sequence was shot, according to a new interview between Stahelski and /Film. 


Stahelski told /Film's Vanessa Armstrong that he was having a difficult time figuring out the best way to light and shoot this fiery sequence. Stahelski explained, "top shots were never very cool with us, with lighting or choreography, because it gets old quick." As Stahelski and the crew puzzled over how to make this inventive action scene work, he remembered checking out a 2019 video game called "The Hong Kong Massacre." Read on to learn how this game inspired one of the wildest scenes in "John Wick" history.

The Hong Kong Massacre gave Chad Stahelski a wicked idea

Stahelski explained, "['The Hong Kong Massacre'] did this top shot and we had been doing so much with the big muzzle flashes and it just kind of clicked like, 'Well, if I'm above, we shoot like this and we shoot like this, and it draws these cool lines with the muzzle flash, and if I get the right flicker effect, it's like Etch A Sketch. It looks really cool.'"


"The Hong Kong Massacre," developed by Vreski, is a top-down action title that pays homage to classic kung fu and crime films. Unlike John Wick, however, who can typically take a ton of damage and just keep going, the protagonist of "The Hong Kong Massacre" will die upon being shot once. Because of this, players have to pick their moves and weaponry with precision. The game has developed a bit of a cult following, but isn't particularly well-known, which makes it an even more interesting source of inspiration for the new film.

The result is one of the most dizzying and thrilling action sequences in the film, as the camera swoops over John from above and catches a full view of his arena. "It was a different way to amp up the action and keep you in that video game mode that John Wick's kind of known for, that first-person shooter kind of thing." Stahelski explained.


With the franchise showing off its video game bonafides, the obvious question is: When are we getting John Wick in a "Mortal Kombat" game?

Static Media owns and operates SVG and /Film.