keanu reeves as john wick (left) in john wick: chapter 4

Murray Close/Lionsgate

‘Whatever y’all paying that stunt man… it ain’t enough’: Fans react to ‘John Wick’ stunt video

Yes, a real stunt performer was involved.

 

Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

The John Wick franchise has always delivered on its immaculate stuntwork in spades, but if a recent look at a stunt from the latest John Wick movie is any indication, they might just be topping themselves.

In the leadup to John Wick: Chapter 4’s release, Lionsgate (the studio releasing the movie) has posted several behind-the-scenes videos online. One of those videos, which Lionsgate posted a few days ago, took viewers into the training room as Keanu Reeves rehearses a fight with a stunt performer: Reeves is holding nunchucks while the other performer is wielding a gun. You know it’s a major stunt video by TikTok’s warning: “The actions in this video are performed by professionals or supervised by professionals.”

A day later, Lionsgate posted another behind-the-scenes video in response to TikToker @jkmjticky, who wrote, “I just know the stunt people on this movie go through it.” The TikTok went viral—it currently has more than 78.4 million views. Lionsgate went even further in its caption, writing, “add a stunts category to the oscars!” (Action movie fans, stunt performers, and people like Reeves and John Wick director Chad Stahelski with vast action movie experience are just some of the folks who’ve called on the Academy to add a stunts Oscar category for years.)

@lionsgate Replying to @jkmjticky add a stunts category to the oscars! #johnwick4 ♬ John Wick Chapter 4 is only in theaters March 24 – Lionsgate

And even from this 24-second TikTok, it’s easy to see why. After the scene begins, a stunt performer is pushed down a moving escalator; he rolls around several times on his way down before landing on his back. He lies there and doesn’t move for the rest of the scene as several John Wick actors, including Reeves, run down the escalator and engage in combat with several assassins. As soon as “Cut!” is called, several people run over to check on the stunt performer who fell down the escalator, one of them reaching his hand to help him off the ground. “You alright?” someone asks, and the stunt performer puts his right arm up and gives a thumbs-up signal before the video ends.

It’s the kind of stunt that the performer makes look effortless, even as people who know little about the craft can see what could’ve gone wrong with that stunt.

“Whatever y’all paying that stunt man… it ain’t enough,” one person commented on TikTok.

“Bro they better pay that stuntman more money then johnwick,” another added.

When the clip was reposted on Twitter, people were even more in awe about the stunt, calling for more recognition and money for the stunt performer.

But someone also suggested other ways to showcase their work even more, including more endorsements for the Academy to add an Oscar category for stunt work. 

“If that isn’t proof that there should be a stunt category at the Oscars, I don’t know what else you need to see,” Austin Burke, who called that scene one of the best fight scenes in the movie, said in a video duet. “That is incredible stunt work, and that is all throughout this movie—all throughout this franchise.”

@austinlovesmovies #duet with @lionsgate #JohnWick4 C’mon Oscars… We deserve a category for stunt work. The choreography in this franchise is mind-blowing. #johnwick #keanureeves #oscars #stuntwork #moviefights #fyp #foryou ♬ John Wick Chapter 4 is only in theaters March 24 – Lionsgate

Several TikTokers even noted they initially thought that the stunt didn’t involve a real person (e.g. a dummy was used) until the performer moved after the scene ended.

Lionsgate eventually chimed in, assuring people that the stunt performer was OK after the fall.

John Wick: Chapter 4 and all of its stuntwork will be out in theaters on March 24.

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