Keanu Reeves opens up about how The Matrix and John Wick franchises’ stunt training compares and why they’re both special in their own rights.
Ahead of his return to the gun-toting franchise, Keanu Reeves is reflecting on how the John Wick and Matrix movies’ stunt training compare to each other. The sci-fi action series was largely considered to be Reeves’ return to the spotlight after a string of box office failures, putting him on track to being a leading man again in the likes of Constantine and The Lake House, among others. After another streak of misses, Reeves would enjoy his biggest resurgence yet with the John Wick franchise, starring as the eponymous assassin.
In honor of the new film’s upcoming release, Lionsgate and Keanu Reeves hosted an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit to promote John Wick: Chapter 4. One user took to asking whether the star prefers the kung fu training of The Matrix or the jiu-jitsu for the John Wick movies, to which Reeves gave a diplomatic answer on why they’re both very special for him, though seemingly teasing he prefers the latter. See what Reeves explained below:
…Nothing can ever compare to the kung fu training from the Matrix because it was so unique and my first time…but the jiu-jitsu in John Wick being integrated with judo and gunfights can never be touched in its own way.
Why John Wick’s Action Is Better Than The Matrix’s
At the time of its release, the original Matrix movie was widely praised for its innovative computer effects and its martial arts sequences, namely its use of wire-fu techniques, helping popularize Hong Kong-inspired fights in other Hollywood productions. Its various sequels, however, suffered from weaker reviews criticizing the increasingly convoluted plotlines and an imbalance between its ambitious themes and stylish action sequences. Reeves has spoken before about his dedication to his training for The Matrix was a special experience for him, especially as he had been coming off of a surgery that led to some difficulties.
On the other hand, the John Wick movies brought back the action genre from its slump thanks to its direct approach to both its story and action, which has largely consisted of gun fu, a combination of hand-to-hand and firearm combat. Though having roots in Hong Kong cinema and somewhat featured in The Matrix, Reeves’ newest franchise is largely hailed as the best example of how to make it work. This succes has even led to a number of similar genre fare, including Atomic Blonde and Bullet Train, both helmed by John Wick alum David Leitch, and Nobody, penned by franchise creator Derek Kolstad.
While the two may share the same star and martial arts roots, the John Wick stunt training remains largely more effective than The Matrix for most audiences. Subsequent Matrix sequels frequently moved away from the wire-fu stunts of the original towards CGI-driven set pieces, inspired by the Wachowskis’ love of anime, which ultimately took away from the stakes of their action scenes in an attempt to raise the scale. As John Wick: Chapter 4 looks to be the biggest installment yet with its March 24 release, one can hope their success with practical action continues and avoids The Matrix‘s mistakes.
More: John Wick 4 Is Already Creating A Big Action Challenge For John Wick 5Source: Lionsgate/Reddit