Keanu Reeves’ Underwater Stunt From John Wick 3 is More Realistic Than You Realize

Keanu Reeves’ John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was one visual treat that climbed to the status of the top-grossing movie in the franchise in just 10 days of its release.

While John Wick 4 provided an even greater movie experience, the potential of Chad Stahelski’s realistic filmmaking was first noticed in the third film. The effort that went into making one underwater fight scene proves how Stahelski’s film was anchored in reality.

Keanu Reeves's John Wick and Halle Berry's Sofia Al-Azwar in John Wick 3

John Wick 3 received critical acclaim for its action sequences and visual style. It saw the central character going on a run from the bounty hunters who are after him due to the incidents of the second film.

Keanu Reeves’ Underwater Stunt In John Wick 3 Couldn’t Get Any More Realistic

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3 - ParabellumKeanu Reeves‘ character John Wick is often considered to be a superhero of sorts. However, the franchise stood out from other action franchises like James Bond or Mission: Impossible due to the gritty realism of its fight sequences. Reeves trained in proper martial arts for the role and performed 90% of the stunts himself. The filmmakers even made some of the fight environments realistic with their extensive research.

One such scene was perfectly captured in John Wick 3 when Reeves and another stuntman, playing an assassin, jumped into a pool during a fight scene. The two continue their fight underwater and when John Wick loses control, the assassin takes aim at him with his pistol. Wick moves away roughly three feet from the shooter creating a separation between them. The assassin opens fire, but the bullets flutter off course midway.

The scene indicated that Chad Stahelski, the director, did his research on hydraulics and gun fights before filming the scene. Water is about 800 times denser than air, and variedly impacts the energy and speed of the object moving through it. The water’s effect on traveling pistol rounds is usually something that Hollywood mainstream films would’ve missed. If for any other director, the bullets would have hit John Wick’s chest, injuring him.

The scene also shows the right way to hurt someone with a bullet underwater. When the assassin tries to reload his pistol, Wick closes in on him and presses the muzzle of his weapon into the assassin’s neck, firing and killing him. The scene even respects the viewer enough to assume that they get what happened and casually moves on to the other action sequences.

Chad Stahelski Turned One Line In The Script To This Elaborate Underwater Scene

Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves on the sets of John Wick

Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves on the sets of John Wick
According to writer Shay Hatten, director Chad Stahelski envisioned the underwater fight scene in John Wick 3 from a single line in the script. Hatten told Collider that the script only mentioned an underwater gunfight in the final fight scene in the film. The writer revealed that Stahelski came up with the whole crazy idea of the fight in a sauna and bullets traveling underwater in slow motion. Hatten shared with Collider:

“In the final fight during the hotel, there was just a part where I had John fall in the pool and somebody shoots at him, and it was one line in the script where there’s like an underwater gunfight. And then Chad was like, ‘Oh, that’s a cool idea,’ and he builds it out into this whole crazy thing where there’s a fight in the sauna and the bullets are going underwater in slow motion.”

According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed $327.7 million worldwide and became the franchise’s top-grossing film, only to be beaten by the fourth film. Reeves’ return to the franchise is yet a speculation, however, he will appear in a brief cameo in Ana de Armas‘s Ballerina.


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