The John Wick saga is continuing this month with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (the title of which means “Prepare for war,”) promising all-out action in the assassin community. Hopefully, the franchise won’t be stopping any time soon, as the CEO of studio Lionsgate has said he plans to make it “a multiple-title action franchise,” while Keanu Reeves continues to get bigger and better in the role.
As he’s taken on legions of fellow assassins and avenged both his dog and his car, Wick has amassed a number of memorable lines. Here are ten of the very best lines from the franchise.
10 "You wanted me back...I’m back!”
John Wick: Chapter 2 continued the story of the first movie in a very exciting way. At the end of the first movie, he got a new dog and he seemed prepared to go back to his peaceful existence. But the events of the first movie got him back in the game.
In the sequel, he says, “You wanted me back...I’m back!” We finally got to see John Wick on form. He wasn’t expecting to get back into the killing game in the first movie, so he was a little rusty, but in the second one, he’s fully back.
9 “That f**kin’ nobody is John Wick. He was once an associate of ours. They call him...Baba Yaga.”
It was a great tragedy in 2017 when the brilliant Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist died. He was best known to Hollywood audiences as a villain, but even then, he was terrific at playing those villains. For example, he even brings humanity to the Viggo Tarasov character in John Wick. He’s the one who explains the weight of his son’s actions to him: “It’s not what you did, son, that angers me so. It’s who you did it to.”
Iosef incredulously asks, “Who? That f**king nobody?” And then Viggo gives us a window into Wick’s reputation: “That f**kin’ nobody is John Wick. He was once an associate of ours. They call him...Baba Yaga.”
8 “Well, John wasn’t exactly ‘The Boogeyman.’ He was the one you sent to kill the f**kin’ Boogeyman.”
As soon as Viggo Tarasov explains to his son Iosef that the man he targeted used to be an assassin who went by the alias “Baba Yaga,” Iosef translates it for us: “‘The Boogeyman?’” And then Viggo explains exactly what he meant by the nickname.
When he tells us, “John wasn’t exactly ‘The Boogeyman,’” we get the sense that he’s about to say he wasn’t actually that bad. But then he adds, “He was the one you sent to kill the f**kin’ Boogeyman.” Uh-oh.
7 “How good to see you again so soon, Mr. Wick.”
This quote from Lance Reddick’s character Charon also reflects the audience’s feelings about the sequel. We loved the first movie in 2014 and we were thrilled when the character burst back into multiplexes in 2017. And now, in 2019, he’s back again.
Charon is the concierge at the Continental and, as far as he was concerned, Wick had retired, so he’s delighted – and surprised – to see him back at the hotel so soon. There’s actually a TV series in development that will focus on the daily goings-on of the Continental. Wick might cameo in the show, but he won’t be the focus.
6 “You stabbed the Devil in the back. To him, this isn’t vengeance; this is justice.”
Ian McShane has been carving out a niche recently as the go-to exposition guy for big franchises. Every time some world-building is going down and the audience is struggling to comprehend it all, Ian McShane comes along to explain everything. It used to be Morgan Freeman, but now, it’s Ian McShane.
He’s done it in Game of Thrones, American Gods, the new Hellboy reboot, and yes, John Wick. His character Winston always shows up to explain everything. He sometimes gets the occasional kick-ass one-liner as well, such as “You stabbed the Devil in the back. To him, this isn’t vengeance; this is justice.”
5 “Whoever comes, whoever it is...I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all.”
The reason why fans are so incredibly excited for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is that the end of the second one set up the most action-packed sequel yet. A contract was put on John’s head and he was declared “excommunicado” from the Continental for violating their rules.
So, now, every single assassin in the world is looking to kill John Wick and he’s going to have to face them completely alone. Rather than be terrified by this prospect, John takes it on the chin and tells Winston, “Winston...tell them...Tell them all...Whoever comes, whoever it is...I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all.”
4 “Rusty, I guess.”
The days of the Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger star-driven action thriller are long gone. John Wick is the last bastion of those kinds of characters: infinitely capable, absurdly awesome, and always with a one-liner in the chamber.
Wick always keeps his cool, even under tremendous circumstances like being captured by the Russian mafia and tied to a chair to be tortured and eventually killed (or so they think). Winston says, “Jonathan! Now, as I recall, weren’t you the one tasked to dole out the beatings, not to receive them?” and Wick simply replies, “Rusty, I guess.” He’d later prove that he wasn’t rusty.
3 “Everything’s got a price.”
What makes this line even more badass is that John utters it in Russian after killing the Russian guy. There’s no need for this one-liner to be in Russian, since only John is there to hear it, but it has more of a sense of closure if it’s in Russian. It’s a callback to an earlier scene in which Iosef tried to buy John’s car. John refused and he said, “Everything’s got a price.”
So, later, when John finally catches up with Iosef and he pleads with him not to kill him over what was “just” a dog. But then John shoots him and says, “Everything’s got a price.” In this case, the price was Iosef’s head – or, in other words, vengeance.
2 “You want a war, or you want to just give me a gun?”
There are the two options when John Wick has gotten involved in a situation: “You want a war, or you want to just give me a gun?” You can go into an all-out war, or you can simply arm Wick. He utters this line in the scene with the Bowery King, who was played by Laurence Fishburne.
John Wick: Chapter 2 reunited Fishburne with Keanu Reeves after the two had starred in The Matrix trilogy together. Fishburne is slated to return to the role of the Bowery King, with a more significant part in the plot, in the upcoming third movie.
1 “I’m thinking I’m back.”
This quote applies in two different ways. John Wick is back in the assassin game and Keanu Reeves is back making awesome action movies. This whole monologue sums up the movie and the character:
“When Helen died, I lost everything. Until that dog arrived on my doorstep. A final gift from my wife. In that moment, I received some semblance of hope. An opportunity to grieve unalone. And your son took that from me...stole that from me...killed that from me! People keep asking if I’m back. And I haven’t really had an answer. But now, yeah, I’m thinking I’m back! So, you can either hand over your son, or you can die screaming alongside him!”