John Wick 4's most iconic scene was inspired by obscure video game

John Wick 4's most iconic scene was inspired by obscure video game
Lionsgate | VRESKI

Written by 

Joseph Kime


27th Mar 2023 08:40

We're used to video games inspiring cinema at this point, but it's always a treat when we can point out the things we recognise. After all, it's this attitude that has kept Star Wars alive.

Action adapts to both cinema and video games immaculately, and the relationship that they've had has resulted in the likes of Hardcore Henry, Max Payne, Rampage, and more.

It has been pointed out that John Wick: Chapter 4 features a newly iconic sequence that looks like it was conceived after playing a very specific genre of shooter game. But, it's not inspired by the title you'd think it is.

John Wick Chapter 4's top-down sequence was inspired by Hong Kong Massacre

One immensely impressive sequence that plays out in the third act of the brand-new John Wick movie is seen from the top-down. It's a stylistic choice that certainly seems to pay homage to the subgenre of shooter that was made iconic by Grand Theft Auto.

The sequence is packed with huge muzzle flashes and incredible violence, leading many to fairly point out its similarities to Hotline Miami - but the film's director has suggested that a different game led the scene to fruition.

"If you're ever lacking creativity, handcuff yourself and then figure it out, because then you'll do something you haven't done before," said Director Chad Stahelski in an interview with Slash Film. "So top shots were never very cool with us, with lighting or choreography, because it gets old quick.

"I had seen this video game and I'll throw a shout-out – I think it was called Hong Kong Massacre – they did this top shot and we had been doing so much with the big muzzle flashes.

"And it just kind of clicked like, 'Well, if I'm above, we shoot like this and we shoot like this, and it draws these cool lines with the muzzle flash, and if I get the right flicker effect, it's like Etch A Sketch. It looks really cool.'"

Chad Stahelski has more video game movies on the way

It's not just John Wick that action legend Chad Stahelski is bringing to life with the help of polygonal source material. In fact, he could be about to bring to life one of the very best video game movies in years.

Stahelski is the man at the helm of the planned upcoming Ghost of Tsushima movie, which has been slow in early development. Based on the 2020 game of the same name, the Sony titan promises to be epic in scope. 

Still, Stahelski remains dedicated to the potential of Jin Sakai's story on the big screen. With the future of the Wickverse unclear, Ghost could be his next project. To be honest, we can't think of an action director better suited to it.

Joseph Kime
About the author
Joseph Kime
Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.
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