John Wick Training BFG’s

Last night it was all about the speed. Not the drug that makes you hyper, weirdos. Not Lightning McQueen either. I’m talking about Speed, the cool movie with Keanu Reeves. The one that launched Sandra Bullock’s career. If you think Sandra Bullock’s career is impressive, then take her career, multiply it by a cool factor of 20 and you have the impressive career of Keanu Reeves.

The first time I ever encountered this cinematic genius was the brilliant movie, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which came out in 1989. It was one of the defining movies of the 80’s for me, along with Back to the Future and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Just take a gander at his IMBD, and you will see 22 credits in film, TV and commercials before he even got his first big role. The guy has been doing amazing things since 1984, when I was busy doing super important things like watching Transformers after school.

Keanu was in Parenthood with Steve Martin, Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing with Denzel Washington, and Point Break with Patrick Swayze, as perhaps my favorite movie name of all time, Johnny Utah. I almost considered changing my last name to Utah once, because of his role in Point Break. Interestingly, he was also in a movie called My Own Private Idaho. If he ever does a movie with Hannah Montana, he will have every mountain west state covered.

A lot of people, including me, thought that his role in the Matrix was his career-defining role, and you could make an argument that it is, and I wouldn’t disagree too vehemently. The Matrix was a revelation to me, especially at the time. Not only for the groundbreaking special effects and philosophical questions asked, or even the fact that any mention of us living in simulation is us living in the Matrix. Even the word the Matrix was scary to me before I saw that movie, because it was only used in math equations.

The biggest groundbreaker about the Matrix for me, was that I had no idea what the movie was about before I saw it. One day, I decided to go to a movie, and chose the Matrix. I hadn’t seen a trailer, had never seen a commercial, didn’t even know who was in it. That was the first time and almost the last time I had ever seen a movie without seeing the trailer.

When you see a trailer now, you are seeing half the movie and all the spoilers. When Thor Ragnarök revealed in the trailer he was fighting the Hulk, I was like, really, you couldn’t save that spoiler for the movie?

Matrix was one of the last great cinematic surprises I remember. The other thing about the Matrix is that Will Smith turned down the role for Neo. It still would have been good, but it wouldn’t be legendary like it was with Keanu. Regardless, after being in the Matrix, it seemed like Keanu Reeves would be forever known as Neo.

He could have hung up his leather jacket and been the legend known as Ted Theodore Logan, Johnny Utah, Jack Traven from Speed, and Neo from The Matrix and forever been enshrined in the Cool Guy Hall of Fame.

But then my second cinematic surprise came along in the form of a little-known movie called John Wick. Again, I saw no trailers, and knew almost nothing about this movie until I saw it. Keanu Reeves pulled another rabbit out of the hat (see the Matrix for the rabbit reference). He blew away expectations once again. I thought there was no way that Keanu could top his Neo character. And yet, somehow, he did.

At one point, John Wick 4 and the Matrix 4 were supposed to be released on the same day. May 21, 2021. COVID had other plans though and it’s probably a good thing, because as you know, the only thing that can stop Neo is John Wick, and vice versa.

In the first John Wick movie, it was just a little movie about a guy whose wife died, but before she died, she gave him a dog. Someone killed that dog and stole his car, and that set off a whole underground world of contract killers and Continentals and High Tables. Through the sequels you start to realize how unbelievably good John Wick is at his craft.

At some point during John Wick 4, I started to think that John was such a legend, that he might actually be able to take on Neo. If those movies could convince me that he actually could, then that means that Keanu had to do a whole lot of work to be able to pull off John Wick as a character.

That connection started me thinking that all the training and all the fighting and acting and everything that went into making the character of John Wick means that all his previous movies were just John Wick training. Everything he did in Speed, Point Break, and the Matrix, were all just getting him ready to be, what I think, is his career defining role. All of those previous movies were just practice to get him ready for the big one, John Wick.

That makes me think that all the stuff I’ve been doing my whole life is going to lead up to me doing my magnum opus, my John Wick. Perhaps, this blog is my John Wick, and all the stupid writing I did in English, and my journals were the training I needed for this blog. Or maybe this blog is my Matrix, which seems like my career definer, but I still have my John Wick coming later. This is why I keep up my bitter training, why I keep posting 11 years later, why I post giftures every Friday. Because I don’t know if this is my Matrix, or if I’m training for my John Wick. Here’s more gifture practice for my John Wick…

Not this kind of speed…

Not this kind of speed either…

The Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves…

…kind of Speed.

The first time I saw…

…the brilliant Keanu in cinematic form.

He followed up his brilliant work in Bill and Ted’s…

…as an FBI agent with the coolest movie name ever, Johnny Utah.

Then, he got a demotion from FBI agent…

…to LA police officer, Jack Traven.

Just when you thought he was done launching careers like Sandra Bullock…

...he starts dodging bullets, and seeing code inside the Matrix.

Then in the Matrix 2…

…he takes on dozens of Smiths.

Now that he has what looks like his career definer in the Matrix and you think he’s gone…

…he comes back with an even more cool and unstoppable force named John Wick.

And he takes on even more underground criminals…

…than Neo took on Smith’s in the Matrix.

And gives us the best cliffhanger at the end of a movie (John Wick 2)…

…of all time.

Keanu gives us all hope that we may all be either…

…be at our bitter peak, or we might have another John Wick level of bitterness to reach.

Just like how Keanu, cheese and wine get better with age, so does bitterness. You don’t see a whole lot of young bitter professionals, but you do see a lot of bitter old men. Not every bitter old man or woman will reach the peak, but I have to think that I have a John Wick left in my bitter legacy.


Bitter John Wick Training Ben


27 thoughts on “John Wick Training BFG’s

    • I totally agree, and at this point, I’m really not sure who would win in a fight. Although, maybe Wick is a plugged in version of Keanu’s character. Either way, we are owed a crossover and whatever it is, it will be mind blowing.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You didn’t even mention Tune In Tomorrow, a delightful little movie also starring Peter Falk and Barbara Hershey in a plot too complicated for me to recount but not too difficult to follow in the movie. Check it out and get back to me.


  2. “Put them in the Iron Maiden.” Perhaps one of the greatest lines in cinematic history.

    I’m about to be very unbitter now so hold onto your seats. Not only is Keanu Reeves gorgeous (something you probably haven’t noticed) but he’s also one of the most genuine, humble, generous and nicest people on the planet. He’s been dealt a crap hand in life more than once and still is a gracious human being.

    Sorry if I ruined John Wick for you. No, I’m not really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The thing about Keanu is that he crosses all demographics. Ladies love him, are really attracted to him, but men want to be him. And like you said he’s really humble and unlike almost all Hollywood people. I didn’t even get to the part where he will show up at E3 (video game conference) to market a game he’s in. Basically he’s a superpowered video game in real life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. John Wick—that murderer again? Bleah. 👎🏽 To me, vengeance is such a despicable human vice that I just can’t get behind a character whose main motives are hatred and revenge. 😐 I’d rather cheer for heroes and good guys, like when he saved all the people from the bus bomb in Speed.


      • I’m not a fan of vigilantes. A person who murders a murderer in revenge is also a bad guy. 🤷🏾‍♀️ Sounds like your favorite movie doesn’t have anyone I could root for. I’d rather watch something else.


        • Only a little. Mostly normal teens who find themselves in abnormal situations. Lots of weird stuff and action


        • Soon, hopefully! 🤞🏽 My latest manuscript has had 6 agent requests out of around 20 submissions so far, so I think it’s just a matter of time.


        • Wow, 6 requests? Sounds like a bidding war. Is this your first one? Or do have others that have been published? I might actually purchase it…if it has a John Wick- like vibe..🤣.


        • I wish it was a bidding war! Hahaha no, not quite. This is my 4th completed manuscript, but none have been published yet. My only published piece is a short story in Highlights for Children, called Moon Rain. Also not John Wick-like 😝


        • No way. You got published in Highlights for Children? That is pretty cool. I’ve only ever been published once in a defunct magazine that one of my blogger friends ran. It still have a copy of it in my basement somewhere.
          Well, when you do get a John-Wick like character, I’ll definitely read that! But seriously, let me know when you get published and I’ll be sure to check it out. And if I ever finish my book and get it published I’ll expect you to buy 37 copies, one for each member of your extended family.

          Liked by 1 person

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