Here’s the famous “When You Shoot A John Wick” meme explained. Keanu Reeves has a few iconic roles to his name, including Ted “Theodore” Logan and Neo, and in 2014 he added another to that list with John Wick. This titular assassin is retired when the movie begins but after his cute puppy – a posthumous gift from his wife – is killed during a home invasion, Wick literally breaks out the big guns and goes on a murderous rampage. Reeves’ performance combined with the movie’s slick action and style made it a word of mouth hit, and a franchise was born.
It helped that the movie’s action had a freshness to it, with the John Wick fighting style being a seamless blend of gunplay and hand to hand combat. John Wick: Chapter 2 from 2017 further put Keanu Reeves shooting skills to the test, as Wick racks up another insane bodycount when he’s set up to fail by a slimy crime lord. The sequel was a bigger hit at the box-office and the series only reached new heights with the success of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which was the highest-grossing to date.
Many bad guys have been on the receiving end of John Wick’s guns over the years – about 300 over the course of the trilogy, in fact – so a video game adaptation feels like something of a given. John Wick Hex arrived in 2019 and is available on platforms like PC, PS4 and the Switch, and is a unique – but flawed – action-strategy game. Gamers might know John Wick best from the insanely successful multiplayer game Fortnite though, first under the guise of the very Wick-like The Reaper skin, before an official Wick outfit was later added. The character is also at the center of a viral video from 2018 dubbed “When You Shoot A John Wick Once.”
This Fortnite video, created by YouTuber user patu, depicts The Reaper/Wick minding his own business when a sniper takes a potshot. Time slows down as the bullet whizzes past John Wick, and freezes as the word “Nope” appears over his head. The character then proceeds to build an elaborate fort at warp speed before returning fire. This was a gag about how powerful this skin could be when used by skilled players, but the “When You Shoot A John Wick” meme quickly exploded, leading to various sequels and parodies.
Keanu Reeves is set to return for John Wick 4 & 5 in the near future, but while it might be nice to see an homage to the “When You Shoot A John Wick” meme in the movies, it’s doubtful the character could build a fort that fast. In yet more proof Keanu Reeves is a really cool guy, it was actually his idea to include an official John Wick skin in the game, who suggested it while meeting an Epic Games executive as teenagers kept calling him “The Fortnite guy.”