Chad Stahelski, the director of John Wick 4, recently shared the video game that inspired one of the movie’s most memorable action scenes. [Heavy Spoilers]
The fourth installment of the popular franchise, starring Keanu Reeves as the lethal assassin, features numerous action-packed sequences filmed in various styles.
However, one, in particular, has generated a great deal of buzz: the top-down scene where John Wick wields a rifle loaded with dragon’s breath ammunition to incinerate his enemies as he clears rooms.
The Video Game Inspired an Excellent John Wick 4 Fight Sequence
Many viewers initially speculated that the homage was to the video game Hotline Miami. However, in a recent interview with Slash Film, Stahelski revealed that the inspiration came from a much lesser-known fun called Hong Kong Massacre.
“I had seen this video game and I’ll throw a shout-out, I think it was called Hong Kong Massacre, they did this top shot and we had been doing so much with the big muzzle flashes and it just kind of clicked.”
Stahelski explained that his team had never been particularly adept at overhead shots, as they tended to become tedious after a short while.
However, he had recently played Hong Kong Massacre and was struck by how the game had effectively employed overhead shots. He observed, “Well, if I’m above, we shoot like this and we shoot like this, and it draws these cool lines with the muzzle flash, and if I get the right flicker effect, it’s like Etch A Sketch. It looks really cool.”
John Wick 4’s god’s-eye gunfight has been called the “Hotline Miami” scene but I was surprised to see Chad name an even more obscure indie game as inspiration
HONG KONG MASSACRE is Hotline Miami x John Woo, and JW4 beautifully adopts its top-down look & gargantuan muzzle flashes pic.twitter.com/hGU3A47icE
— ChristianV (@GenreFilmAddict) March 26, 2023
By borrowing this technique from the video game, Stahelski created an entirely new way to elevate the action and keep it within the realm of the John Wick video game aesthetic.
Stahelski’s creative approach reminds us that when we feel uninspired, sometimes the best way to come up with fresh ideas is to restrain ourselves and look for new solutions. In this case, Stahelski gave audiences a thrilling and memorable cinematic experience by finding inspiration from an unlikely source.