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Tear Jerker / John Wick

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  • While Helen's death is tragic, John remains stoic while still at her side. It's only when he reads her last note to him (attached to the dog crate) that John finally breaks down.
    • The Reality Subtext from Keanu Reeves' life makes it even harshernote .
  • In the first scene after the In Medias Res opening, John wakes up still sleeping on his side of the bed. When he goes to make himself coffee, we see that his wife’s mug is still placed beside his. Her side of the bathroom is unlit and disused. All this even though it's implied to be the morning of her funeral – John presumably couldn’t bring himself to change even the habit of setting out her mug yet.
  • The very first thing John does after awakening from his beating is cradle the dog's dead body, and then go outside to bury it.
    • What makes the scene worse is that, after the beating, the next scene starts by following a blood trail that leads to Wick and his dog. The blood trail looks as if the dog actually crawled up to Wick before dying.
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    • Before that, hearing Daisy yelping helplessly is absolutely awful. She's cowering behind a chair, utterly terrified. To make matters worse, the only reason she was killed was because Iosef couldn't stand the sound of her howling.
  • Viggo laying it all out for Iosef, especially the anguished, forced hug. On the surface it seems like he's browbeating him, but by the end it's clear that he's trying to deal with knowing that his son is a Dead Man Walking, and just struggling to get the stupid boy to understand in order for him to maybe Face Death with Dignity. The moment is surprisingly poignant, as is Iosef's horrified face as he realizes that his father is saying goodbye.
    • Iosef's death causes Viggo to finally snap, and thus two former friends are propelled into killing each other...
  • Viggo and John's conversation on the phone immediately afterwards. Taking the longest shot possible, Viggo dusts off an old notebook and calls John to try and reach a compromise, in an understated way begging his old friend and ally not to do what he knows he can and will do and kill his only son. John stays silent throughout the call, before hanging up.
    Viggo: (puts the phone and leans over his desk, taking a long breath)
    Avi: What did he say?
    Viggo: (sounding subtly - and yet utterly - defeated) Enough.
    Avi: Oh God.
  • The song "Think" by Kaleida (the song playing when John first goes after Iosef in the nightclub) has lyrics that are sadly poignant to John Wick's situation, which no doubt makes his choice to come out of retirement all the more painful (assuming he was listening to the song, and appreciated the irony of it).
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    • "Go ahead you've, taken me down now" Of all the foes John Wick fought, none of them ever took him down except for Helen. His love for her ruined his devotion to being a hired killer, and took him away from that world.
    • "Give me, give me, give me, give me what you don't know" John is unused to love, but he's willing to give Helen something he doesn't know for her sake.
    • "Go ahead, take me all out now" Of all the enemies John fought, love was the only one he ever submitted to, and one that he submitted to willingly.
    • "Get this, get this into your game" John's "game" is about having mastery over death, but now that he's in love with Helen he must learn the game of life and enjoying it with her.
    • “You got me in a heading drop” The elation John felt when he was in love with Helen was overwhelming, especially in light of how grim the criminal underworld is.
    • “I never wanna come off” John never wanted to leave the peaceful life that Helen provided him, saving him from the grim life he led as a killer.
    • “You got me with your beat of love” Helen’s love enraptured John, and gave him the idea that maybe he could be a good person for once.
    • “I never wanna come out” Why would John ever want to go back in the darkness after seeing the light?
    • “Think of me” Obviously Helen is the most important person in John’s life, so of course he’d be thinking about her.
    • “I’ll never break your heart” An ironic statement, since Helen did break John’s heart with the circumstances of her death. However, the fact that John now has a heart that can be broken shows that the love Helen instilled in him was very real.
    • “You’re always in the dark” Two implications here: A) John never told Helen about his blood soaked past, and thus she was in the dark about who he really was. B) John’s soul is always in the dark, because of the life that he’s led, and even if he tries to ignore it he will always be a killer until the day he dies.
    • “I am your light, your light, your light” Helen was the source of light that redeemed John’s soul, and allowed him to turn away from his violent past.
    • “You're never in the dark” John is never in the dark so long as the memory of Helen’s love lives on inside him. However, this is an ironic statement since John is still very much in the dark, since he’s going back to his vengeful, violent lifestyle in honor of Helen’s memory.
    • “Now that I'm, making this all up” John is reflecting on the fact that with Helen absent from his life, he’s making this all up as he goes along and really has no clue what he’s going to do with himself long term. Is John back in the game? He still doesn’t have an answer.
    • “Let me, let me, let me, let me into your know” John is looking to Helen’s memory for guidance, hoping that she will remind him of how to lead the loving, peaceful life that she showed him now that she isn’t there to give him directions. He really has nothing left of her.
    • “You got me in your open hand” With Helen gone, he’s no longer the stoic, invincible hit man he used to be and he’s an emotionally vulnerable mess. He’s henceforth stuck in the open hand of his enemies until he can regain the focus he used to have.
    • “I never wanna come back” John lamenting on the sad state of affairs that the game he left behind is pulling him back in, despite his best efforts to avoid this fate.
    • “How do we let you never found?” John remorseful over the fact that he’s letting go of a peaceful lifestyle that he arguably never found in the first place, and perhaps Helen only gave him the illusion that he could be a good person.
    • “You know it's gonna come out” With all these emotions bubbling under the surface, regardless of how much John fights it… his old killer nature is going to come back out, and it’s going to be messy when it does.
  • Ms. Perkins killing Harry.
  • On a meta level, the death of Michael Nyqvist. It makes Viggo's death Harsher in Hindsight. Be seeing you Michael...
  • The torture and death of Marcus.
  • John's speech behind why he's going after Iosef clearly has some tear jerkiness behind it. Seriously, just watching John going through the explanation, it shows exactly what it was that Iosef did to him. If Iosef had left the dog alone, John would have forgiven and probably forgotten about the car. But Iosef killed an innocent dog, taking away the last thing that John's wife gave him and any kind of chance of living in peace with it. How can you not feel sorry for John as he explains this and not side with him when he screams at Viggo to give up his son?

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