The sequel to John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2 is already shaping up to be a fitting nominee for one of the best films of the year – Oscars, BAFTA’s and Emmy’s be damned – and now there’s a running theory that it’s actually a secret sequel to The Matrix.
Maybe that’s a stretch too far, I mean they take place in two completely different universes (or do they?) and there’s no actual direct link between the two franchises story-wise. So where does the connection lie then?
Well the devil is in the very obvious details, and the guys over at Red Bulletin have come up with a very credible theory on how both John Wick films are worthier sequels to The Matrix than its original follow-ups [shudder].
The first thing they point out is that ‘The Director Is Neo’. They’re not on about Keanu Reeves, though he’s because he’s still ‘The One’, however John Wick director Chad Stahelski can stake a claim to being ‘The One’ 2.0 because he’s actually been Reeves’ stunt double. Stahelski has been with him throughout his career, starting from Point Break all the way up to The Matrix Trilogy.
As for Reeves himself, Red Bulletin point out that in the beginning of The Matrix Neo is still learning to be ‘The One’, sure he let’s us know that he ‘knows kung-fu’ and pretty much figures out that ‘there is no spoon’ but he’s still getting to grips with his powers.
By the time the second and third film came out though he was no closer to being the badass ‘one’ that he’s supposed to be. He’s held back by a convoluted plot and really dated CGI. However by the time we get to the first John Wick film he’s a certified kung-fu master and an efficient killing machine.
It’s also worth noting that during the shooting of The Matrix – and training for the role of Neo – Reeve’s picked up martial arts quite quickly and in fact he grew to love it.
According to Stahl:
The Matrix was an actor learning martial arts; Keanu is now a full-blown martial-arts stuntman. Count how many martial-arts fight scenes he’s done in 10 years – that’s probably triple the amount any high-level stunt guy does.
We come in for two or three moves – the big spin-kick, the splits, the yank through the wall, but he’s on camera every take. He’s been on camera doing martial-arts choreography more than I have, and I did 20 years of it.
On that note it’s worth pointing out that prior to John Wick, Reeves’ directed and starred in an under-the-rader martial arts film titled Man Of Tai Chi. Which while not a classic, does show off his genuine love for the martial arts scene.
Another connection to The Matrix is the obvious introduction of Laurence Fishburne in John Wick: Chapter 2. This year’s sequel Neo and Morpheus reunited and Fishburne’s character the Bowery King is meant to be a wise, all-knowing man in the shadowy world of the league of assassins. So he’s basically Morpheus again isn’t he? Just much more charismatic in John Wick’s case.
Speaking of the ‘shadowy league of assassins’ if you think about it, it takes place in a world that is completely separate from the world outside of it. Red Bulletin make a case for it being a ‘virtual reality’ world that is set wthin our own but ‘has the rules and physics of a video game’. Sounds very much like The Matrix right?
Again we’d like to state that the theory is far-fetched but the argument and the evidence is there to provide a solid case.
If you haven’t seen John Wick: Chapter 2 yet all we can say is ‘Why?’, stop whatever the hell your doing and go see it now.
Just in case you need anymore convincing, check out the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 2 below.