"Okay.... THIS time, I'm ready for the recoil."


"Okay.... THIS time, I'm ready for the recoil."

JOHN WICK

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. CRAPPY WAREHOUSE

A BANGED-UP SUV riddled with bullet holes rolls into frame, coming to rest against a loading dock. A bloody, beaten KEANU REEVES stumbles out, and COLLAPSES from his countless injuries.

KEANU REEVES

To be honest, only the last few wounds are from bad guys. The rest are from movie audiences over the past 14 years.

(gets out iPhone)

Thank God my phone is still A-OK despite the brutal damage both I and this car have suffered. And the intuitive touch-screen interface allows me to easily access home movies of my dead wife, while I teeter on the edge of consciousness. Which reminds me how this whole thing began...

EXT. FLASHBACK

HAPPIER TIMES KEANU meets and weds the LOVE OF HIS LIFE but she DIES of medical stuff. He briefly considers building a BALLOON-POWERED FLOATING HOUSE but decides to stick with GRIM HITMAN WITH TROUBLED PAST instead.

EXT. KEANU'S HOUSE -- STILL FLASHBACK -- YES THE FIRST SCENE WAS A POINTLESS FRAMING DEVICE, BIG SHOCK, I KNOW

SAD KEANU answers the door.

DELIVERY PERSON

Hi, I have this dog in a box that's been sitting in our offices while we waited for your wife to die? Sign here please. Oh, I think it needs food. And you should probably clean all the shit and piss off it. Not sure if the foaming mouth is a concern.

KEANU brings the DOG inside and it is a SUPER CUTE CUDDLY DOG that now represents his emotional bond with his dead wife. Accordingly he makes it sleep on a random towel and feeds it LEFTOVER CEREAL.

EXT. AIRPORT

GRIEVING KEANU has a buddy that lets him drive his SOUPED-UP VINTAGE MUSTANG at crazy speeds on the tarmac!

KEANU REEVES

Woah, check out my mad stunt driving skillz! I sure drive angry and hard! Clearly this is only a prelude to some intense stunt-driving action later on!

KEANU'S BUDDY

Yup, we will now have no trouble accepting that you have the finely-honed skills necessary to smash one car into another car. Hurray for character building!

INT. KEANU'S HOUSE -- LATE THAT NIGHT

MOURNFUL KEANU gets woken up by the DOG. He goes downstairs and gets CLOCKED IN THE HEAD by RUSSIAN THUG ALFIE ALLEN!

ALFIE ALLEN

Hey, asshole, it's me! You were slightly less than a complete doormat when I had a ten-second conversation with you at a gas station. So I'm here to totally fuck you up!! I'd have come by earlier but first I had to murder a dude who didn’t hold the elevator.

ALFIE and his fellow RUSSIAN THUGS beat up KEANU, kill his DOG, and take his CAR. Then to make sure there are no loose ends or witnesses or any chance of retribution they KILL KEANU go home.

INT. JOHN LEGUIZAMO'S CHOP SHOP

SAD BRUISED KEANU shows up looking for his CAR.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO

Yeah, those Russkie assholes tried to sell me your car, but I told them to go fuck themselves, because we're buddies.

KEANU REEVES

Sooo... my car COULD have been here, waiting for me, right now. But instead, it's fuck knows where, thanks to you.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO

Um, it seemed noble at the time?

KEANU REEVES

(sighs)

At least this way, it’ll be that much more dramatic and satisfying when I get it back. Just like with Jack Burton's truck, except if he never did get the truck back and it was never seen ever again.

INT. MICHAEL NYQVIST'S PLACE

RUSSIAN THUG ALFIE ALLEN, who is BRITISH, is shown in to see his RUSSIAN CRIMEBOSS DAD MICHAEL NYQVIST, who is SWEDISH. Also DEAN WINTERS is kind of there, though he might be a hallucination or ghost or something, it’s hard to say.

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Son, I've just been informed that you made an enemy of... John Wick.

(shits pants)

DEAN WINTERS

Did you say JOHN WICK?!?

(shits pants)

ALFIE ALLEN

Who the fuck is John Wick?

MICHAEL NYQVIST

WHO THE FUCK IS JOHN WICK HE SAYS

(shits pants more)

DEAN WINTERS

WE ARE SOOOO FUUUUUCKED

(saturates pants with shit)

ALFIE ALLEN

But really, who--

MICHAEL NYQVIST

(regaining composure)

He's the character Keanu's playing. Now, I don't always crap out half my digestive tract at the mere mention of someone's name, but when I do, it's usually John Wick.

(shits entire suit)

Now be quiet while I call him to beg for my life, as formidable, scary bad guys often do.

KEANU REEVES

(on phone)

Sorry Michael. They're calling this my best movie since The Matrix, and sure, everything I've done between then and now has been total ass, so it's not saying much. But I can’t quit now.

MICHAEL NYQVIST

I understand.

(clothes explode with shit)

Well, I suppose we should start with the obligatory wave of low-level goobers.

INT. KEANU'S PAD

GRIM KEANU prepares for the obligatory wave of low-level goobers.

HIT SQUAD

Hey Keanu! We're here to help establish your signature fighting style for this movie. Perhaps some wuxia mixed with--

KEANU shoots them all IN THE FUCKING HEAD.

HIT SQUAD

(dead)

Well, that's direct.

DETERMINED KEANU starts packing up all his HIT GEAR and makes a phone call to his favourite corpse disposal service.

KEANU REEVES

(on phone)

Hello, is this "Wong's" "Restaurant"? I have a "reservation" to make. Party of twelve. They'd each like to order an appetizer of getting shot in the fucking head. And they won't need entrees or dessert because I shot them all in the fucking head. Also, coded messages are bullshit.

INT. FANCY HOTEL

RESOLUTE KEANU strides through the lobby to the registration desk.

LANCE REDDICK

Welcome back to the super elite international assassin hotel, Keanu. As you know we only accept payment in the officially recognized currency of elite international assassins, that being Mario Coins.

KEANU REEVES

No problem. Oh wait, I'm one short.

(punches floating brick)

There you go.

LANCE REDDICK

And I needn't remind you of our very strict no-violence policy inside the hotel.

KEANU REEVES

I meant to ask about that. Like, can I follow somebody just outside, and shoot them there? How far away do I need to follow them before I can ice them? What if I'm inside and take aim at someone on the street?

LANCE REDDICK

Look, the thing is…

KEANU REEVES

And are you paying the water and electricity bills with Mario Coins too? If not, where does that money come from? Really, is there any compelling reason for us to carry around briefcases of giant clunky coins instead of using PayPal or something…

LANCE REDDICK

(interrupting)

Just, don't overthink it, dude. Please.

INT. WILLEM DAFOE'S HOUSE

MICHAEL NYQVIST pays a visit to ALSO-an-elite-international-hitman WILLEM DAFOE.

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Willem, I have a problem with Keanu. You know how the poster says DON'T SET HIM OFF!? Well, my son SET HIM OFF.

WILLEM DAFOE

(thinks)

Technically, it isn't the wick that gets set off, though, is it? You light the wick, sure, but then it burns down until the flame reaches some kind of explosive, and THAT'S what gets set off.

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Did you miss the part about not overthinking this? I know you’re good friends with Keanu, so let me hire you to go kill him, already.

INT. GRAND SHOOT-A-PEST HOTEL

INTENSE KEANU meets up with IAN MCSHANE.

KEANU REEVES

I need info on the guy that SET ME OFF.

IAN MCSHANE

(thinks)

But technically...

KEANU REEVES

I'M A SPECIAL EXPLODING WICK THAT EXPLODES ITSELF OKAY?!? Where can I find Alfie Allen?

IAN MCSHANE

He's at a club called the Red Circle. Which is, coincidentally, the colour and shape of a bullet wound to the fucking head.

INT. RED CIRCLE CLUB

RAGING KEANU becomes the WORLD LEADER IN TOTAL LEAD PRODUCTION to the tune of 1.5 MILLION METRIC TONS PER YEAR and proceeds to export ALL OF IT directly into RUSSIAN GOONS’ HEADS. However ALFIE ALLEN gets away so the plot moves ahead exactly ZERO POINT ZERO MILLION METRIC INCHES.

INT. BEST EXOTIC MURDER-GOLD HOTEL

FRESH WOUNDS KEANU goes to his ROOM to rest up. But from a nearby rooftop, WILLEM is watching!

WILLEM DAFOE

Oh noes, Adrianne Palicki is sneaking up on Keanu! I should warn him by firing a bullet right next to his head! Obviously firing a bullet anywhere else in the room would be WAY too subtle. Or firing it into, say, Adrianne.

ADRIANNE PALICKI

Surprise! At least one of us ruthless international assassins is willing to break the rules, and try to kill you right here and now!

They FIGHT! KEANU WINS!

ADRIANNE PALICKI

Damn. I guess it's time for my head shot?

KEANU REEVES

No, even though I usually kill people outright without a second thought, I’m going to keep YOU alive for information, for some mysterious pair of reasons.

ADRIANNE PALICKI

Okay. All I know is that Nyqvist keeps all his very best shit in a church.

KEANU REEVES

Thanks. Now there’s really no reason not to kill you.

(leaves)

INT. CHURCH

STONE-FACED KEANU walks in and as soon as the priest makes a move he SHOOTS HIM IN THE FUCKING KNEECAP. Then he quickly SHOOTS EVERY GUY IN THE CHURCH IN THE FUCKING HEAD.

KEANU REEVES

This better be the right church.

PRIEST

Luckily for you, it is! And also lucky for you we refuse to hire any female guards. I mean, if any one of those seemingly harmless old ladies was packing, you'd already be dead.

KEANU REEVES

Whatever. Just take me to the secret safe before Liam Neeson from the “Taken 2” script figures out I stole his joke.

KEANU shoots the SECRET SAFE RIGHT IN THE FUCKING HEAD which summons NYQVIST and his GOONS.

KEANU REEVES

You're gonna wish you didn't SET ME OFF!!!

(fires one million bullets)

GOONS

THE WICK ISN'T WHAT GETS SET OFF ALREADY FOR FUCK'S SAKE CHECK A FUCKING DICTIONARY

(fire one million and one bullets)

KEANU REEVES

MY ENDLESS AMMO IS THE ONLY DICTIONARY I NEED FUCKHEADS

(fires one million and two bullets)

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Bah, all I need to get you is ONE bullet! One very large bullet. In the shape of an SUV.

(crushes Keanu with SUV)

INT. PLASTIC SHEET ROOM

GROGGY KEANU wakes up TIED TO A CHAIR.

KEANU REEVES

Ugh. Why am I not dead? Please tell me you have some original, genre-bending reason, and not the same old “I must gloat before I kill you Mr. Bond” crap…

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Gloat! Gloaty gloat gloat!! Gloating over. Now you die.

(leaves)

All seems lost BUT, from a nearby rooftop, WILLEM DAFOE opens fire!

WILLEM DAFOE

Y’know, I’m starting to see why that damned Parker kid does his whole rooftop-guardian thing. It’s a blast!

KEANU fights his way out, and catches NYQVIST by standing on a car!

KEANU REEVES

Woah, that's abrupt. Like, you're the Big Bad, right? And I’ve got you totally dead to rights. So is the movie over or what?

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Yeah, I thought our final fight would be later on, so I didn't prepare. Tell you what, you go kill Alfie Allen, I'll have Willem killed, and then we can have a proper final fight.

KEANU REEVES

Cool. Oh, what about Adrianne?

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Well her character is a super-lethal badass, so let's have Ian walk her into a trap and then she can stand quietly in place while getting gunned down.

KEANU REEVES

That's a pretty bargain-basement solution for our allegedly high-octane action flick. Eh, it'll get her prepared for being on Agents of SHIELD, I guess.

ADRIANNE PALICKI

No listen, it actually got WAY better after Winter Sold-

(is shot)

EXT. THE DOCKS

MICHAEL NYQVIST drives down the DOCKS towards his GETAWAY HELICOPTER. But KEANU arrives and starts SIDE-SMASHING his CAR into MICHAEL'S CAR!

MICHAEL NYQVIST

How the hell did we wind up in the final act of a 1970s cop show?

DEAN WINTERS

Don't worry, I'll take care of Keanu! They don't call me Mayhem for nothing! Honestly, people do that. There were these commercials... never mind.

KEANU REEVES

Are you even in this movie, dude? I swear this is your first scene.

DEAN WINTERS

Fuck no, I've been here all along! I shit my pants along with Michael, look!

KEANU REEVES

Whatever.

(kills Dean)

KEANU and MICHAEL square off for their big final KNIFE FIGHT!

KEANU REEVES

So I'm the most unstoppable badass in history, and you're a swaggering boss-figure who hasn’t beat anyone up all movie. Maybe we should even the odds a bit.

(becomes gummi bear)

MICHAEL NYQVIST

Arrgh, you still win! My signature move of “having my goons do everything for me” somehow failed! Oh right, they’re all dead. Not counting the ones prepping the chopper who have done fuck all to help. Fucking assholes.

(dies)

KEANU REEVES

(becomes human again)

That sure was whelming. Back to the framing device, I guess?

EXT. BACK TO THE FRAMING DEVICE

ALMOST DEAD KEANU finishes watching his video.

KEANU REEVES

Surprise, I've decided my extensive mortal injuries are non-fatal, after all! All I need is something to give me the will to live!

KEANU finds a KENNEL inside the building and STEALS A DOG.

DOG

Er, wasn't fucking with some random person's dog exactly what started this whole fucking mess?

KEANU REEVES

Never mind that! With a whole new life-form to care for -- even a simple pet -- I have the strength to carry on, and not just let myself die!

NATALIE PORTMAN FROM REVENGE OF THE SITH

Yes, fine, I suck. WE GET IT.

END

This script was made possible thanks to the support of Patrons like Philip.

If you'd like to support the site, please check out our Patreon page where pledging can earn you access to an ad-free version of the site, early access to scripts, exclusive scripts, and other cool shit.

Discussion