One Of John Wick 4’s Coolest Fight Sequences Was Almost Cut

Apr 11, 2023

John Wick: Chapter 4 director Chad Stahelski reveals that one of the film’s most impressive fight sequences was almost left on the cutting room floor. Keanu Reeves returns as assassin John Wick in the franchise’s fourth outing, which has been a hit at the box office and with critics. John Wick: Chapter 4 features a handful of jaw-dropping fight sequences throughout its lengthy runtime, including a Nunchuk battle, a brawl in a German club, a shootout at the Arc de Triomphe, and a top-down sequence in which Wick uses a Dragon’s Breath shotgun in a Parisian apartment complex.

In a recent interview with Vulture, Stahelski reveals that the Dragon’s Breath fight scene that plays out not long before the ambiguous John Wick: Chapter 4 ending was initially something that was on the table to be excised from the film. It wasn’t until the visual effects for the muzzle flash and fiery gunshot blasts were added in that it became clear that the sequenc was something special. Check out Stahelski’s full comment below:

“When you see the top shot without all the cool effects and you don’t see any of the Dragon’s Breath coming out with the muzzle flashes, what do you think is on the cutting table? Until pretty much the end, that was on the list that a lot of other people thought we should cut. It wasn’t until we put in the temp visual effects that people go, ‘Oh, f–k. We didn’t think it was going to be anything like that.’ And I’m like, ‘Good thing we didn’t cut it.’”

Cutting John Wick 4’s Dragon Breath Fight Would’ve Been A Huge Mistake

Many of John Wick: Chapter 4 action scenes are genuinely breathtaking, but the Dragon’s Breath fight stands out as something truly unique from anything the franchise has done before. Not only are Dragon’s Breath rounds themselves a brutal but wildly entertaining novelty that haven’t been featured in any previous franchise entries, but the way the sequence is shot is also quite different.

Taking cues from the 2019 game Hong Kong Massacre, which features top-down gameplay, John Wick: Chapter 4’s Dragon’s Breath scene unfolds from a perspective that has not only not been seen before in the franchise, but hasn’t really been featured in any mainstream action movies more generally. The top-down perspective combined with the highly visible Dragon’s Breath rounds makes for a sequence that blends verticality and horizontal action into a thrilling video-game-like series of action beats.

Of course, Wick’s Dragon’s Breath fight through the Parisian apartment is also a oner (although it does feature one hidden seam). The John Wick franchise features longer takes and cleaner camera sightlines to capture action in a clear and easy-to-understand way, but the franchise hadn’t actually done a true oner before. While not necessarily essential to the plot, John Wick: Chapter 4’s Dragon’s Breath sequence is one of the sequel’s most impressive action sequences, and, thankfully, Stahelski remained steadfast in his resolve to keep it in the movie.

Source: Vulture

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