A video game inspired this excellent John Wick 4 scene - but not the one you think

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

One of John Wick Chapter 4's most impressive scenes was clearly inspired by a video game - but not the one you might think.

Near the conclusion of the Keanu Reeves-led movie, Wick fights assassins through a building in Paris, as the camera tracks his movements in one continuous shot via an overhead perspective. You might think this is a clear nod to the excellent Hotline Miami, but apparently this isn't the case.

Explaining the sequence in a new interview with Slash Film, John Wick Chapter 4 director Chad Stahelski said "but 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." 

The Hong Kong Massacre is a 2019 action game controlled entirely from the top-down perspective. The game itself is clearly inspired by predecessor Hotline Miami, with both making the player duck and dodge bullets in close quarters for hectic adrenaline-pumping fights. Hotline Miami is the more influential of the two games, hence why many John Wick Chapter 4 viewers no doubt jumped to conclusions about it inspiring the fight sequence in the movie.

Stahelski continued, saying he was 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.'" The series director also revealed they had just three days to shoot the entire sequence, a staggering challenge for even the most experienced filmmakers. 

John Wick Chapter 4 is out now in theatres worldwide, and Lionsgate just announced it had a franchise-best opening weekend at the box office. Director Stahelski and star Reeves also broke down the movie's surprising ending, and where the franchise in general goes from here. 

Check out our full John Wick 4 ending explained guide for a complete overview of every detail you might've missed from the finale.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.