Keanu Reeves has been an action star for some time, beginning in the '90s and reaching his peak with The Matrix trilogy. But by the year 2014, it had been a while since the actor had starred in what one would call a beloved action film. Then came John Wick. The under-the-radar movie became an instant cult classic, and has now spawned a sequel in the form of John Wick: Chapter Two. So, in preparation for the release of the new film, here is a rundown of what happened in John Wick in case you forgot.
The film begins tragically. John Wick's wife dies, and he is left a puppy to help him move on from her loss. He grows to love the dog, but one day Wick encounters some Russian mobsters at a gas station. One of them, Iosef, offers to buy Wick's car, a souped-up old Mustang, but Wick declines. That night, the mobsters break into Wick's house, beat him, steal his car, and worst, they kill his dog. This of course proves to be a massive mistake, as they have just awoken a sleeping giant. Wick, you see, is an ex-hitman with exceptional skills, and he is now about to come out of retirement to avenge the death of his dog.
Wick learns that Iosef is the son of a man named Viggo, the head of New York's Russian mafia and Wick's former employer. After Viggo unsuccessfully tries to convince Wick not to seek revenge, he sends a group of hitmen to kill him — but Wick kills all of them. Viggo then puts a massive bounty on Wick's head, which sends killers from all corners after the mourning hitman.
Wick is eventually captured and tortured by Viggo's men, but he manages to escape. He then locates Iosef and kills him, kills all of Viggo's men, and then finally kills Viggo himself in a fight which leaves him with a nasty stab wound (the movie has lots of killing). Wick heads to an animal shelter in order to treat his wound, and it's there where he meets a new dog and earns another shot at happiness.
In John Wick: Chapter 2, Wick's attempt to live a normal life is once again interrupted when someone lures him out of retirement again, this time as part of an international conspiracy. The stakes are raised, but one thing is for sure: The sequel will feature lots of people being killed by John Wick.