Why is John Wick so Popular?
There's something about John Wick. Vicious, yes. Crazy, yes. But tender-hearted.
Yes, I said it. And you probably can't believe it.
But it's obvious.
There is a very definite vulnerability to this character. He gets beaten up, he doesn't always win. He's not Bruce Lee or Steven Seagal. Those guys seem to never get hit or hurt. But John Wick is not invulnerable to every shot and punch, sometimes he gets kicked down.
And sometimes he goes too far. He's in command of himself but he must go all the way to the brutal edge and beyond. It is, paradoxically, this command of himself that allows him to go way over the edge. It's terrible, for a man who has been terrorized. Horrible, for a man who has seen the worst of what is horror for him.
He's heart broken. Let's start there. From the onset of our story, he has a broken heart.
Sharp Dressed Man
Damn he looks good. Dark, designer suits, suits designed to take a beating and conceal weapons. He looks good doing what he does, with every choke around the throat, every kick to the unsuspecting attacker's knee cap, every bullet shot to the counter-assassin's head and every body slammed onto the concrete, John looks like Bruce Lee doing ads for Armani. It's dope.
Part of the intrigue of this unusual story and unusual world is this enigmatic way John waltzes around dressed to the nines, taking out opponents and assassins in suits that are part bullet proof, part blade proof and designed to hold multiple hidden weapons.
Sharp, yes. In more ways than one.
He Gets the Job Done
Well, he's just plain good at what he does. A martial artist, a man skilled with multiple weapons, a trained assassin. A man who can take you out with a gun, a blade, a choke, an arm lock, a punch, a kick, a f---king pencil! A f--king pencil!
A man with focus. A fact often repeated to his enemies, as a warning.
He definitely follows through. And we all like that. When it comes to anyone. Nothing worse than someone who can't finish what they start. They say they're going to do it and then there it is laying there. Unfinished.
Well, this is the problem with John. He's so thorough. He refuses to give up. This is why he is so notorious. He will definitely complete the task.
That's just it. He's hard headed. It's his obsessive focus that ruins everything and has him trapped. It's an old story but John tells it so well. Because many of us have been there. We have no choice. We must win or die. It's all the way through or not at all. In fact, it's not about winning at all. It's way beyond that. It's the nightmare destroying the G--D--n nightmare!
What Is So Great About John Wick?
What do you like about John Wick?
John lives in an incredible world. With its own currency. It's own vendors. It's own exclusive locations and, of course, its own particular personnel.
It's not like any world any of us know.
It's half nightmare, half wonderland. It's both fascinating and calamitous. You don't know when it will end in torture or when you might reach the other end where there's sunlight and landscapes. Dark and dreary but full of shine and pomposity. It's intriguing but ruinous. You will be pulled in to be destroyed.
But it's you who destroys you.
Love destroys John Wick. Loss destroys John Wick. This love and this loss creates more of the same. More ruin, more brutality, more loss.
Doesn't John Wick speak to our everyday lives? The struggles, the mental fortitude, the drive to keep on and complete anything and everything that holds value to us.
And, of course, our deep seated desire. Desire drives John. His loss, his desire, intertwined and this indomitable focus to exact revenge and do it so completely that the destruction is monumental. It is all very ironic and paradoxical, ingredients for a classic work of fiction that speaks to our hearts.