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'John Wick 3' and Director Chad Stahelski

 May 16, 2019 at 11:55 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 John Wayne texts in effect in three two one. Now Speaker 2: 00:08 it's finally time for John Wick chapter three Speaker 1: 00:11 and away we go. Speaker 2: 00:14 Hudson, the Indonesian film the rate have I felt so exhausted and exhilarated by an action film. John Wick chapter three raises the bar on fight choreography by adding dogs horses, Katana wielding motorcyclists and more with played by Keanu Reeves continues to face the consequences for his violent rampage over the death of his puppy. Wasn't just a puppy. Welcome back to another edition of listener supported KPBS cinema junkie podcast. I'm Beth Hakka, Mondo. Today I'm going to review the latest chapter in the John Wick Saga and play my interview with director chats to Helsinki. At the end of chapter two we found John Wick, the Hitman who had come out of retirement to avenge the death of his puppy had broken one of the key rules of the continental hotel, which caters to assassins and has now been deemed excommunicate Kado with an ever increasing bounty on his head. WIC is on the run and facing a constant barrage of assassins that he must fight off here. He tries to get help from the director play by Angelica Houston. Even if I wanted to. I can't help you jot down by table once your life. How can you fight the wind? How can you smash them out? It's how can you bury the ocean? How can you escape from the light? Of course you can go to the dark there in the dark too. Speaker 1: 01:40 Okay, Speaker 2: 01:40 so tell me, John died. Well, do you really want, that was a scene from John Wick three. I'll be right back with more action after this short break. Stunt man turned director chats to healthy delivers one of the most gorgeously shot and choreographed action films ever as the elevates wicks saga to ridiculously epic proportions in the electronic press kit for the film. Keanu Reeves had this to say about stuff. Hell scape. Speaker 3: 02:10 Yeah. Working with Chad is really fun. I mean, he's a great collaborator. We both kind of share the same taste, you know, in terms of action and um, and cinema. And we can talk about story and storytelling and characters and there's a short hand and, and also an inventiveness. And in chapter three, Para Bellum, there's a lot more knife work and a lot more group work. And chapter two is, you know, in the fighting it was groups, but it was always one on one. In Para bellum part of the way that we've expanded is it's multiple people, more multiple people at. And that's another kind of expression of the, of the action. And also John is kind of gets overwhelmed in chapter three. He's not heroic all the time. Right. You know, he gets beat up and that's another kind of skill, you know, take the reactions, you know, um, it's one thing to hit somebody, it's another thing to get hit, you know, and that's a different part of the day. Speaker 2: 03:12 [inaudible] in the dance. It is. It's a breathtaking ballet of violence. I know some may be offended by the excess violence of the John Wick films and I get that, but these films feel distinctly removed from the real world and are more like a stump man's tribute to what the best of his craft can offer. I feel like seeing one of the John Wick films is more likely to inspire someone to want to become a stunt man or to take up martial arts than it is to inspire them to become a lethal assassin. These films are really at heart about the art and craft of screen stunts and action is to help. These films are as much descendants of Sam Peckinpah, John Wu and Asian action cinema as they are of silent clowns. Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd in chapter two the film started with the image of a silent film car chase projected on the side of a building just as John Wick's car rolls into frame. Speaker 2: 04:08 In chapter three the huge image of buster Keaton's face is seen projected on a building right before the action begins. Both of these things are still hell skis. Reminder, that stunts really began with the silent comedians like Keaton and Lloyd who risked life and limb to deliver spectacular stunts all for the sake of a good laugh. It's to healthy honors those geniuses as well as the likes of Hong Kong action choreographer une Wo Ping with whom he worked on the Matrix and it's from une Wo Ping and Hong Kong action cinema that he learned two key points. One action begins in the script writing phase and to anything in a scene can become an active prop or weapon, Speaker 4: 04:53 cars, guns, just basic stuff. You got to know how to make an omelet right Speaker 2: 05:05 stay healthy and fellow stunt man David Leitch formed 87 11 with they called an action design company. They were inspired in part by the way Hong Kong stunt teams worked and that meant involving writers, cinematographers, editors, stuntman and cast members all from square one in terms of planning, rehearsing and executing scenes involving action and that's why Steve [inaudible] wick films have action like no other American film. Stay healthy has a complete understanding of the dynamics of screen action, so his films incorporate not just a jaw dropping sense of innovation in terms of the action, but also work to create a visual style but compliments the action and is aesthetically pleasing. This also means working closely with the star Keanu Reeves and not just creating the character of John Wick, but in creating the action that the star can credibly execute. Sta Health Scan raves are both very clear in pointing out that while Reeves trains with impressive ferocity, what he does is action and stunt doubles are the ones doing the stunts, the to draw a clear line between stunts and action in order to make sure that those hardworking stunt people get the credit they deserve to healthy said this in the press kit. Speaker 2: 06:20 It's a level of commitment that is not normal. You'll hear it said a lot. I do my own stones that no one does. Her own stunts. Stunts are done by stuntman if they weren't done by stem in a witness. Done actors do action and the level of action choreography. We've just tried to equalize so that the action or the level of action to the level of core, if we try to do, does not exceed the capabilities of the talent that we're using. We choreograph do cownose absolute extreme talent level like he's performing at his optimal ability. If he goes beyond that, if we need a rec center like that, it becomes a stunt and we will use a stunt double. But when you see John Wick doing all the massive fight choreography and the longer takes on the motorcycle on the Horse, that's actually counter is because of that is is accountability. Speaker 2: 06:57 We pushed him to his limits and he operates or performance at his limit. John Wick chapter three delivers some action set pieces that are simply intoxicatingly, well executed. The speed of the action leaves you breathless and I emphasize it's the speed of the action itself, not the cutting or any frenetic camera work like the silent clowns and Asian action films to healthy often uses long wide takes to allow us to appreciate the action and the fact that it's often Reeves executing the moves, fast cuts or what films do to hide bad action or just show that they have no understanding of how to depict it on screen, but it's to hell. Ski Is blessed with an actor who's not only down to train for the role, but to come up with ideas to take the character even further. I don't understand this character more deeply than anyone. Speaker 2: 07:47 Um, I love the world and I love the character and I love crea collaborating back and forth. Also Kiano creatively is, is fairly fearless. You know, there's no too much, too little, too soon, too late kind of mentality. It's like how can we make this as fun as possible for the audience to healthy does a fine job casting mark to Costco's as one of the assassins hunting with down here he looks to enact or who may be a bit forgotten, but who has stellar action credits to his name, including being TVs, the Cro and starring in the French film, the Brotherhood of the wolf to cost cost is great and he seems to take absolute delight in the role and in being able to partake in great action scenes here. He talks about his work in the press kit. Speaker 5: 08:28 Well, I was geeking out because when Chad was working with Keanu on some of the moves, um, he was explaining this one throw to Keanu and [inaudible] was, was not sure what he meant. So Chad goes over and does it with the stunt man and I'm like, what? Right. I, I'd never seen her director go over and do the move just flawlessly. And it was, I don't know how to do the move. It was this jump on the waist Speaker 2: 08:56 twist and then you troll the guy to the ground. And so this is our director during the move and it was great. And, and you know, my whoa. In my head I'm just like, well this, that's really good. And then, and then he's talking to Keanu and he wants killed her to try it and apparently counter had never done it before. Then Kiana gets up and just the fact that he's going over there just to try it in front of everybody. Right. And he goes over and he, he jumps up and he locks his legs around the hips and then does a twist. And the guy who was flying, I'm like, are you kidding me? First of the director does a flawlessly and the lead actor, it was great. John Wick three is a pure adrenaline rush from start to finish. My only complaint has to do with some narrative flaws. Speaker 2: 09:39 I'm willing to give any film a leap of faith, and by that I mean a film can create any universe at wants and so long as it abides by its own logic, I'm willing to go along. So I'm fine with people falling off buildings and surviving or walking through a hail of bullets without a scratch. But there's a point in the story where John Wick does something so out of character and so not in keeping with the memory of his beloved wife that it almost derailed the whole film for me. Fortunately, the film corrects itself, but I wish I had conceived of a smarter way to keep the plot going than to have wicked band in his own core values. We'll do help set the mood from you. Gifts. Let us begin. Speaker 2: 10:22 Services still off limits to me. What do you need? [inaudible] guns, lots of guns. John Wick. Chapter three is pure action cinema. Don't see this in d box or four dx or any of those theater enhanced ride experiences because it will only distract you from what's on screen. It's to help gain company make you feel the impact of every blow and experienced the exhaustion Whitfield's as the relentless onslaught of attackers come form. You don't need any gimmicks to make this film more visceral. John like three isn't a great film in terms of the ideas that explores, but it's a work that features absolute perfection in the execution of its action scenes and the way it pushes the envelope in terms of what stunt performers can do. Think of it like a musical where the numbers are flawlessly rendered, but the scenes in between could use a little more depth. There's something about action well done on screen that's so intoxicating. There's no other drug like it. Film is meant to depict motion and just as Buster Keaton silent film antics dazzled audiences almost a century ago. [inaudible] action films are making audiences look up and gasp at what is star and stunt team can pull off on screen in the new millennium. If you love the motion in motion pictures than this is the film for you. Okay. One last break and I'll be back with my 2017 with stunt man Speaker 6: 11:54 turned director Chad's to Helsinki and I apologize for geeking out a little too much about his work. Yeah. So when I got to see John Wick chapter two, I have to say that the opening sequence, when it started, I kept slipping closer to the edge of my chair because I was so excited to see an action scene shot in these long wide takes without a lot of rapid cuts. And that was a thrill. So I just want to know when you tackled it and you decided how to open it and did, what was your thinking in terms of getting into those first fight scenes? Um, well I think like my background comes from action directing and second year what they call a second unit directing in Hollywood. Our company 87 11 deals with something called action design, their stunt coordinating, their stunt choreography. There's action choreography, which is choreographing the mood as much like a dance sequence or a musical. Speaker 6: 12:54 And then there's the orchestration of the stunts, which most according to do. And then there's action, desired action design goes to the next level of while you're in the Strip and prep phase. How is this sequence going to be executed? How is it going to look, how's it going to be designed? And when we did the first John Wick, we kind of executed what we've always wanted to do in film and I think in Hollywood style tone, like you know, you're the neons onset of every project comes to fruition and the dialogue scenes and the photography and the lighting. Very rarely does it come together with action sequences. But then again you have like, I think the way Steven Spielberg executed the opening sequence of saving private Ryan nailed the tone. Now the curt stayed with the character, told you something about the characters. It was incredibly well designed. Speaker 6: 13:37 It was well thought. It was well executed to tie directly into this story of fantastic. It's shot the way he wanted to shoot to give you the phonetic energy and keep you with the character. We're very similar on how we want to design our art genre action films, whether it's martial arts or cars and motorcycles or explosions. We want you to learn something from the character. We want you to appreciate the tone and we want you to see the action. So yes, we like wider shots. We like seeing real professionals where there are are are acting performance or stunt performers execute the choreography or the stunts that we want you to. We want you to see, there are a few exceptions to what I'm going to say, but nowadays action is looked at as the execution only. It's not where we're going to do this. Speaker 6: 14:19 We'll let the second unit guys, you had this young girls coming in as a cause. They don't want to spend the money on prep or they want to spend the time shooting it. And the first thing that gets crunched in budget worse, which everyone has to go through is either prep or days to shoot. So a lot of times you get an action sequence that's shot and executed. Not so much to show things but the high things or hide imperfections. If the cast member hasn't had enough time to train, you'll shoot him tighter. You won't see as much cause you don't want to see the imperfections of technique or choreography. If you use of stunt double, you're going to want to hide. The double didn't get a lot of over the shoulders are super wide. Shots are super tight shots. You're trying to hide things. Speaker 6: 14:54 If you don't have the time, if the gun don't work or the weapons don't work or the car doesn't, sorry, you can't go fast enough. It's more about hiding and not showing the audience as opposed to a lot of lot of prep, great professionals executing at a very high level that had been thoroughly rehearsed and I mean rehearsed with the camera teams, the actual on-camera performers, your cinematographer has lit away that will entice you not just aesthetically but the lights will be hidden so you can shoot wide shots. Pretty much the whole cruise in on the action pretty much just how the rest of Hollywood does dialogue scenes. I don't know why they just, you know, throw it to the wind when it comes to action sequences. We just put the same care into our action scenes that we try to put into our acting or our dialogue scenes. Speaker 6: 15:37 It's not hard. It's the same process most directors use for all their other scenes. For some reason, it just doesn't translate to action. I don't know. It's always a mystery to us. Well, I have to convince. I fell in love with action films through Asian movies, especially Jackie Chan and Chaldean fat people like that, and I had a chance to interview Jackie Chan and he talks about one of his big influences with gene Kelly and learning how to shoot action through that. Is that something that you also appreciate it? I'll do you one better. I've worked with Jackie and his team quite a bit and Donnie and in his team and Jet Lee and his team and little, you know, the huge influences. I love the Asian cinema. Love it. Especially the 80s with the Hong Kong action stuff as well as Japanese animation and you go back a step further to Akira Kurosawa. Speaker 6: 16:20 If you were to go look at John Wick, John Wick two, you'd see an amazing similarity and composition to serve Giuliani, banana Bertolucci and Akira Kurosawa and we just like that. But I think our true influence is almost back to silent film. I love Buster Keaton, really enjoyed Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chapman. If you can tell a story with the volume down and you can still get what the movie's about and you can still see the emotion on, on the characters face, if you can still see the chasing and get what's going on. I think that's a big part. Oh my partner and I, Dave Leach on the first one. We really tried to do a silent film. That's why I can, is character says very little installed, done with emotion. So I think that's a good way to tell the story and have the dialogue and everything else is back up and really say things that means something when they mean something, but we, you know, that's just like [inaudible]. Speaker 6: 17:03 That's just what appeals to me. It seems like too from a Asian action films that they do value the time put into that stunt work and is that something that you also got when you worked with, again, we'll ping on the matrix that that's something kind of you got to see on a Hollywood film and did that inspire you in any way? What we really liked about working with [inaudible] Ping was the methodology behind his action, the amount it was rehearsed, the amount of training that went into the cast. Most stunt teams, we rehearsed a great deal with stunt doubles and the stunt men and a little bit with the actors. We go, absolutely. We throw every penny we can into training the cast member and we just don't train them to memorize moves. Kiana was traded on this one to be a practical three gun firearm technician, meaning he was trained in rifle with live fire, you know, in a very safe environment up at it in a professional shooting range as well as trans with Swat and military personnel and then brought to the choreography teams to accentuate that. Speaker 6: 17:58 Our best judo and Jujitsu martial art, people were used to train them, so around the fake being good. We just trained count on to be good. Basically just tended to be a stunt guy. Now we got that from very much the Hong Kong thing because it allows you to shoot differently if you're a cast member. Isn't it just a rockstar and can do all the choreography that we want. You don't have to cut or you can choose where the capital's, it's more of a directorial edit to give you pacing or do you give you emotion or to give you some kind of storytelling ability as opposed to our actors only trained to do three moves at a time, which forces the edit or I have to use a stunt double, which forces the angle or I can't see cause the other stunt guys haven't been trained or the camera man has it been in rehearsal. Speaker 6: 18:35 So the camera has got an 80 pound camera and show they're trying to keep up with all the guns. It always comes through. Again, trying to hide was not there. The Hong Kong teams, their camera and we're like stunt guys. Their editors were still like from the editor to the director to the performers. That link or that production line was all on the same page. They were all at rehearsals. They were all there. So on John Wick One and two our editor was here are similar. Togare was at the cinema was that the stunt rehearsals are stunting, our cast members were overtrain and that's where you got it. Now take that. When we work with the channel Skis, they took the attention to detail of other directors enacting lighting and w being's attention to stunts and they're the ones that put it all together and like one thing you get, which I completely agree with, they didn't see a distinction at the time. Speaker 6: 19:22 Even myself, I'm probably, and we'll ping and the other action teams that were involved, you know, it was the acting scenes and then the action scenes that we, Chelsea, you saw no difference. They were one in the same and they really truly believe that. Like it. That's why there really was not a giant second unit on the Matrix. It was, you know our first unit directors carrying the story right through the Dojo scene in the first matrix is a literal dialogue scene. It is an actualization of Kiana and Laurence Fishburne coming to terms with who neo is becoming just because you're doing Kung Fu, they might as well as sitting at a table sharing a drink. It didn't make any difference to to the directors, they just continue. The story in the action was just another set piece and that was a huge eyeopener at the time. Speaker 6: 20:02 Like you should never stop the action is the story. The story is the action. And when you're choreographing sten scenes or deciding to shoot them, how much do you plan in advance in terms of like storyboarding it out or planning the choreography and then how much of it is reaction to the actual location once you get there? I mean do you also allow for some amount of improvising in terms of what you find there? It's absolutely unique. Debbie situation. We have a standard, I guess I'm fortunate I have a background in action of echo on a directing background in storytelling background. Right? So it starts with me and I conceptualize what I want this character to be. We know we want John Wick to do a different kind of gun work. We will, we wanted to do close quarter work. Okay now I go with this done soon of kind of what martial arts fits this best and we'll develop our own martial art based on Jujitsu or judo or sambo or tactical three gun work or you know how the navy seals clear houses. Speaker 6: 20:57 They're like, we'll come up with that and what kind of steal from everybody? Our stunt team will go out and play and shoot video of his or shoot test footage and video of what we want this to look like with our stunt teams from there, if it's a gunfight in this, okay, what environment gives us the best way to make this look cool for a tactical gun work or close quarter gun work the way we want to shoot maze hallways, tight quarters kind of thing. Museums, catacombs, you know, warehouses. So we look for those locations and then once we find a location where I go, oh yeah, this is great. I bring in my stunt teams and they spend two or three weeks adapting all the stuff that we've already conceptualized and conforming it to the locations. Throw in, if you're going to do big car sequences, that's a little harder to just go out and video is, so if you do a car sequences are big cranes or explosions, that becomes more storyboarder animatics that help to compliment what we do live action wise. Speaker 6: 21:49 So depending on the scale and the size of the sequence, that determines the methodologies that we prep it. You brought up Carsten's there were amazing Carstens in this film. It looked like it hurt. The benefit of having 20 years experience in the stump is as, as you know, all the right guys, when you don't have a lot of money or time, which car chases can can be, you have no time to waste. Just driving around the block really fast. So they go to my friend Dan and say, look, I want this to be the equivalent of going through, but we cars. So he's like, okay, that means we're going to hit a lot of stuff. I'm like, Yep, I don't want any car left untouched. So Dan will go through and design all of these sequences and train can to actually drive cause we want just like we want Canada when the gun sequences, we want count on the car sequences and Canada's already pretty handy driver. Speaker 6: 22:31 When we got ahold of them, Darren and uh, is driving down into Jeremy Fry. We'll go out and teach how to drift, how to spin, how to lock and how to crash vehicles. So now we have counties, not just in the gunfights, we have academies actually crashing into cars and hitting people, which he did. He actually runs over a couple of young guys, which is great. So it's the same kind of process. Get the right guy, somebody that's creatively amped. And again, sometimes being creative doesn't cost more or taking more time. It's just brain power. It's sitting out on the right creative individuals and coming up with stuff that is financially independent of what you really want to do creatively. It's very easy to be, okay, we're well known as a martial or choreography company. We are an action we could take. And I have so many fights, things already Cory and on video I could take the same ones and just use them over and over. Speaker 6: 23:17 But we try to do is take principles and attributes of certain things that we love and carry those throughout and our method and our process. But the actual, we try not to look back. So when John Wick was done, we were like, okay, well can use nothing from that film next. How do we reinvent and that it's not going to lie to you. It's difficult. It's hard, it's frustrating and there's always the temptation to go back to what you know. You just can't. You really can't because you'd be bored and led you to regret it the rest of your career when you watch movies, movie. So it's like, okay, what did we do? What haven't we seen? And again, you can't waste time. Rather than drive the car on really fast and try to mimic something like civil war who has six to 10 weeks to do a car chase, we have six days. Speaker 6: 23:55 How do we make it interesting? You know, it's just not about going fast. It's like what does he do with the car? What is yet? And again it comes back to story. It has, you know, because again, I'm very fortunate, I have a cast member that is very, very collaborative so Kiana can sit in one of our action meetings, go, John Wick wouldn't run. He just rammed me with a car. We're like, great. That one sentence is what we're going to put John Wick. He's going to try to get out cause he doesn't want to fight. But then he's like, it's not really about the car. And his mentality is not evasion. It is destruction and collision. So we're going to base it on that. So John Wick, just, if you can't shoot, she's just going to hit you with a car. And that's kind of how we designed the sequence. Speaker 6: 24:34 That's simple. Well let's talk a little bit about 87 11 and when you started this company with David Leach, was your plan initially that you were going to move into directing or was that something that kind of came up later? It was kind of a two prong thing. Dave and I have always wanted to at least action direct since fairly early on our stirring queers. As soon as I found out that that was the thing, I was like that's something I'd be interested in doing. Especially cause I like, I love martial arts. I live Marshall Choreography, especially again like we talked about from Asian cinema and the best way to bring what you created, what you Corey off to fruition is being the director. You know, you can control how it's edited, control it's shot, which gives you a truer version of what you want to do. Speaker 6: 25:18 So I think that was always there at the same time after working so much with, with people like you and whooping and and, and the Hong Kong stunt teams and the Chinese stunt teams was like, okay, there's a need in the western cinema for something very, not just, I don't, most people don't know how stunts work or the stunt community works. She goes eat the producers, higher stunt coordinator who kind of oversees it, maybe hires a fight choreographer, a fight coordinator. They hire the guys three, four days out from the sequence. Maybe a week out they get a little bit of rehearsal time with the actor. They train them, you know, uh, martial art instructor trains them or a personal trainer and then they kind of just teach the actress to memorize the Mus and hope that they're going to get something good out of it. Very, very few times is the cinematographer, the cameraman brought into rehearsals. Speaker 6: 26:03 We kind of go more with the, the Asian cinema methodology like we've explained where we want everybody involved in order to control that. We needed to be slightly higher up the ladder and sliding more experiences. So we just focused on that and tried to really specialize in that. So the two naturally just kind of come together. If you get where we fit in the process and people come to us and go, well we want this look because again, so many times in modern day actions and big, big movies, you can feel the division between story, story, story, okay, cut action scene. Everybody go home with the stunt team, say like you can feel like it's, it's almost jarring to us a lot of times. Like, how can they spend so much money and not care about the, we took, we knew our greatest obstacle one day of and I did the first one. Speaker 6: 26:48 It was like, okay, there's stunt guys, how are they going to do story? How are they going to work with cast? They don't realize that in the second unit you deal so much with cast and he goes so much with sway because we're trying to ask you a division of a very most of the time a very, very successful director already. So you know, we spent and did our due diligence as much as we could to put as much love as we could into all the Manson send that, the story, the lighting. We wanted people to know that we're not just concerned about action. We're concerned about the story a to B as any good director should, which is a bit of a, uh, a wacky kind of conundrum that we see nowadays because so many directors are very interested in that stuff. Like they'll tell stories of where the lines, but they won't learn anything about actual, although the second unit guy, I'll do just, we learned about storytelling, we look, you guys can learn about action. Speaker 6: 27:34 It wouldn't make them matter of film. Don't give up on the action. That's my biggest way and the audience should not accept that. Make the directors go back and learn their abcs of action. Learn how they should have a, they should have an opinion. They should have. It's going to show you can't just shake the camera around and hope your editing. We'll figure it out 10 weeks from now. Like that is a, when someone like Paul Greengrass did that, that was an aesthetic choice. He's done plenty of films reading. I was like, and that was a phonetic choice to wake the audience up a little bit and I thought it was a good choice. The first time I saw it on the second born, I thought it was a very creative choice. Most people do it nowadays to hide like we talked about. And I think that's a directorial mistake. Speaker 6: 28:10 Like if that's your style, great. But if that's your fall back, get out of jail free card. I think you've, you've missed the bus and what you really need to do. So then how did you move from being a stone company to actually getting John Wick made? Was that a difficult process to get backers to say like yeah, let's let this stunt guys actually hell mofilm actually it was Keanu that was just out of the blue phone call going, hey, what's going on? How you been good? You Hey I got the script, I want to send it to you. Read like the guy in it but it needs a little bit of, it needs something. Would you mind giving an a read? And I think that was on a Friday and by Monday I was telling them I want to pitch on this, I want to drag it. Right. And I think Kiano had specifically known that cause he knew we were wanting, trying to direct and I think he just found it and he put two and two together and he's really the reason it all came together. Speaker 1: 28:57 [inaudible] Speaker 2: 29:06 that was stunt man turned director Chad's to health game. His latest film is John Wick, chapter three pair of Bella, and Fyi, Parabellum means prepare for war, and that's exactly what you need to do to watch this film. Thanks for listening to another episode of Cinema Junkie podcast. If you like what you hear, please recommend it to a friend and leave a review on iTunes. Coming up soon will be an interview with Donald Vogel about his new book, Hollywood black. Till our next film fix. I'm Bafa Mondo your residents and yeah. Speaker 1: 29:39 [inaudible].

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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.

"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.