John Wick Ranked
John Wick films in my first franchise rankography. My first rankography of any kind on this page actually. So, what is a rankography exactly? Well, it’s my ranking of a filmography. Whether that be a director’s filmography, an actor’s output, or even an entire franchise. My rankographies are based on personal preference and I rank movies according to how much I enjoyed them, rather than any specific technical merit or quality. Remember, this is just my ranking, not THE ranking, so be sure to post your own personal ranking of the John Wick franchise in the comments below. Before I get into this, I just wanted to say that this is an action franchise I really enjoy.
The stunt work and fight sequences across these three movies have been phenomenal and Keanu Reeves has done a really great job of portraying John Wick. We know based on his film career that he can really pull off the action hero role, but here he really embodies Wick. It’s a different type of role and he’s done a near-perfect job of bringing out both the calculated intensity of the character as well as the physicality needed for the action sequences cause he’s done the vast majority of his own stunts in these movies.
Even though I’m ranking these films from worst to best, the worst John Wick film is nowhere close to being a bad movie. I’ve already reviewed all three of these movies on this channel, so if you wanna check those out for some more in-depth thoughts on each of them, I’ll put the links in the description below and I’ll also link them up in the cards as we go along. Alright, let’s get this rankography started. Coming in at #3 is John Wick: Chapter 2. Even though I was pretty satisfied with the ending of the first John Wick movie, I’m definitely not complaining that we got a sequel.
I know I’ve got this one in the last place, but as I said before, this is still a movie I really enjoyed. Like all the movies on this list, this one has got some Wick-ed action and great fight choreography, but it really took the action sequences up to a notch from the first movie and gave Wick a few enemies that had the fighting skills to really go toe-to-toe with him. He took some hits in the first film, but there really wasn’t any fight in that movie where it seemed like he might not come out on top. A few of his fights in this movie, especially with Cassian, are intense, long knockdown drag-out brawls.
They throw each other down three flights of stairs and keep fighting! And so having another character that could keep up with his physicality and fighting style was a unique aspect of this one, compared to the first. Chapter 2 also expanded on the assassin underworld, giving us a bit more insight into the code and the rules that govern the assassins.
Unfortunately, the story that resulted from this expanded world wasn’t as focused aa that of the first movie and didn’t have the emotional push either, so the story just wasn’t as compelling, which puts it in the last place for me. Coming in at #2 is John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Despite the already very ramped up action of the previous movie, this one somehow still had room to improve and go even bigger. It’s still got the fluid, grappling gun-fu style that I’ve loved since the first film, but it introduces more creative sequences as well.
The knife fight in the antique shop was incredibly entertaining and possibly my favorite moment in an action movie in recent memory. I loved the blend of comedy and realism in that sequence, despite the crazy fight that’s going on. The comedy with them ready to fight and then realizing they’ve got all these weapons around them and the realism of not having every knife hit its mark, blade first. I also really enjoyed Wick and Sofia’s joint fight and I hope we see more of her character moving forward because I think the two of them made a really great fighting pair.
The incorporation of both horses and dogs into the fight scenes was clever and entertaining and I really liked seeing the Continental’s concierge finally getting in on the action too. I think Chapter 3’s story was a little tighter and more focused than Chapter 2’s, but I did find a few of the fights during the third act to be a bit repetitive and dragged out, which made the movie feel longer than it actually was. So, that means my #1 John Wick film is the original John Wick.
I’ve has seen this one the most times out of the three, so that might be influencing my opinion of it a bit, but it truly is hard to compete with the movie that started it all. Not only did it introduce us to the intriguing character of John Wick, but it also gave us gun-fu, an extremely cool fighting style now synonymous with the franchise. That fluid blend of tactical gun use and grappling martial arts styles like judo and jujitsu are mesmerizing to watch and even though the second and third films use it too, there’s something especially grounded about the action in the first movie.
Don’t gets me wrong, I love how insane the action gets later in the franchise, but this movie especially, feels like it could be real. It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that there could be an ex-assassin out there somewhere who’s trained to do these things and he pulls it off in a way that feels real it’s a little sloppy at times, he’s working with what he has at the moment and that means he doesn’t always have the perfect smooth take-down or the perfect headshot. He’s usually facing more than one enemy at a time, so he needs to prioritize who to target first. We frequently see him pin somebody and then shoot other people who are further away but more of an immediate threat to him, before finally taking out the guy he’s got pinned down.
The first Wick film also features the most simple and straightforward plot of the three, which is something that can really work for an action movie if it’s has done in the right way. Despite its simplicity, it’s, not just a mindless action movie full of fights and gunfire; it’s got a really compelling emotional core that not only works to drive the story forward but also to humanize Wick himself. Pair that with a stylishly slick aesthetic and you’ve got one of the most surprising, satisfying, and cool action films of the last decade. Alright, so that’s my rankography of the John Wick franchise. When the action’s amazing across the board, relatable character motivation, and a focused story comes out on top. What does your ranking look like? I’d also loves to see some reasoning for your order, so be sure to post it in the comments below.
John Wick: Chapter 4 has been officially announced, so you can look forward to an updated version of this rankography in May of 2021. Make sure you put it on your calendar, so you don’t miss it. Also, be sure to check out my reviews of all three John Wick films for some more in-depth discussion of each, as well as my ratings, pros and cons, and even film recommendations.