We’ve watched a lot of action-packed films, and many have offered the promise of greatness, but the John Wick movies are arguably one of the best movie franchises in 21st century Hollywood. But what makes this franchise so alluring is obvious. With his cool and smooth moves and fighting style, many are wondering, “Was John Wick once a marine?”

John Wick was fueled by revenge, not only by Reeves’s character but also by how the franchise had made him even more popular after a rough patch in the early 2010s.

Who is John Wick?

The character was never mentioned to have been based on an actual person, but many movie-watchers and fans love to speculate.

John Wick in action. Photo by David Lee – © 2014 – Summit Entertainment

John Wick was summarized as an ex-hitman coming out of retirement to track down the gangsters that killed his dog and took everything from him, that’s according to Nick Riganas. Seriously, who can’t sympathize with that? This is the spell that John Wick had cast upon us. A character who’s a firearms expoert  brings the coolness and style we’re expecting from an action film and, at the same time, someone who plays with the audience’s emotions by the circumstances the character had to deal with. That’s what we get when Reeves has quite the history of working with director Chad Stahelski in the Matrix movies.

Solving some of the mystery

Well, for starters, many had speculated that John Wick was a former military man. We can’t blame them, can we? But director Stahelski wants us to piece together and sort it ourselves who John Wick is, from the bits and pieces they’ve given us in the previous movies. In an article by Matt Goldberg from Collider, Stahelski was quoted saying, “Anyone watching can start piecing it together. You know he’s had some serious training. Was it military? Ehh — he kind of looks military. Where’s he from? Well — he speaks all these languages. We’re giving you the pieces, and I think it’s always good… Hopefully, in five years, you and your buddies will talk about how ‘he’s this, or he’s that.’ We’ll give you a couple more pieces and let you stitch it together.”

Daisy, the dog given by John Wick’s wife.  © 2014 – Summit Entertainment

The telltale signs that Wick is one of our guys

With Wick’s extreme handiwork with firearms, hand-to-hand combat proficiency, cold demeanor, proper posture, and dispensation of absolute wrath towards anyone who harms the things he loves, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that he once was a Marine, says an article from We Are The Mighty.

Another is the tattoo on his back which read “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat,” or “fortune favors the brave” in Latin, and a loose translation of the motto of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines.

Thirdly, his watch and the way he wore it. He wears it on the inside of the wrist of his non-dominant hand.

Warfighters chose not to wear anything reflective to not give away their position and, by wearing it on the inside of the wrist, it’s easy to keep from breaking. This, however, might also be common among professional hitmen taking their cues from the military.

Lastly, there’s something with his relationship with Marcus, who was thought to be a non-commissioned officer (NCO). A mentor to John in the past — he taught him everything he knows about firearms and helped bring him into the world of underground networks.

Do you think John Wick was a former Marine, or an operator in Special Operations?

Maybe ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ will drop another clue or two but its release date has been pushed back to 2023.

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