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Cinema Junkie Podcast Episode 169: Stuntman Turned Director Chad Stahelski On ‘John Wick’

Review of ‘Chapter 3 — Parabellum’ plus interview with its filmmaker

Photo credit: Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment

Stuntman turned director Chad Stahelski on the set of "John Wick 3."

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"John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum" finally arrives and stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski delivers an exhausting, exhilarating film. I have a review of the new film and have a 2017 interview with Stahelski where he explains exactly why John Wick raises the bar on action films. And learn the difference between having a star do action versus doing stunts.

Aired: May 16, 2019 | Transcript

"John Wick" arrived in 2014 and now makes his third appearance with "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum." Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski talks about the franchise and his approach to creating action for the screen.

Keanu Reeves is not just the actor who plays John Wick, the hitman who came out of retirement to avenge the death of his puppy, but he's also the man who gave the script for that film to then stuntman Chad Stahelski and suggested he think about directing it.

Stahelski worked with Reeves on "The Matrix" (1999) where Yuen Woo Ping was the action director. The Hong Kong fight choreographer introduced Stahelski to a new way of looking at creating action. The main thing Stahelski learned is that for action to reach a high level it needs to be thought about as early as the scriptwriting phase and then during rehearsal, it's vital to involve the stunt team, actors, writer, director, editor and cinematographer. That ensures that the action is treated with the same degree of importance as a dialogue scene.

I'll have a review of this latest chapter in the "John Wick" saga and play my interview with Stahelski from 2017. He will explain why the action in the "John Wick" films serves up an intoxicating rush of adrenaline like no other American film.

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