Every time I take a shower, I think about one of three questions:
- If it weren’t for the Middle Ages, where nobody did s*** for 900 years, just how advanced would human civilization be right now?
- Does Anderson Varejao or Robin Lopez look more like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons?
- Is the club scene from John Wick or the church scene from Kingsman: The Secret Service the better killing spree?
What are we about to do? Determine whether the John Wick club scene or the Kingsman church scene is the better killing spree. You’ve probably figured that out by now, because it’s literally the title of this article.
How are we going to do it? By determining a winner in each of ten categories. The overall winner will be whoever wins the most categories.
Why are we doing this? Because this is a really important question and it needs to be answered. Plus, John Wick: Chapter 2 came out this past weekend, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle comes out in October.
What, exactly, are we judging? We’re judging these killing sprees as killing sprees, not as movie scenes, so while the fact that Kingsman’s killing spree has Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd as its soundtrack is admittedly dope beyond all means that we’ve developed for measuring dopeness, it is, unfortunately, irrelevant for this analysis.
Let’s get started. You might want to keep a tab open with each scene because I’ll be referencing them quite a bit.
Category #1: Frequency of Kills
From first kill to last kill, the Kingsman scene lasts 3 minutes and 12 seconds. Galahad kills 40 people, and the kills-by-weapon breakdown is as follows:
Gun – 25
Knife – 7
Part Of A Gun Used As A Knife – 1
Pole – 3
Bomb – 1
Axe – 1
Blowtorch – 1
Beating To A Pulp – 1
This gives him a frequency of 12.50 kills / minute, or, if the scientific unit of minute–1 doesn’t really jive with you, an average of 4.80 seconds between kills.
Judged by the same criteria, the John Wick scene lasts 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Wick kills 29 people, and the breakdown is as follows:
Gun – 25
Knife – 2
Neck Snap – 1
Ambiguous – 1
This would give him an average of 11.38 seconds between kills, but I argue that the actual “spree” doesn’t start until he reaches the well-lit room upstairs, which is well after his first kill. If you count only the “spree,” Wick’s number drops all the way down to 5.06 seconds between kills, which is still just barely higher than Galahad’s 4.80, which is, in turn, significantly higher than the average years of experience of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees.
Score: 1-0 Kingsman
Category #2: Creativity of the Kills
Wick may have the single most creative kill at 5:39: the classic “Shoot A Guy In The Leg, Smash A Glass Bowl In His Face, Grab Him By His Absurdly And Impractically Long Beard, Pin Him To A Small Table, Shoot Him Twice In The Head” move, but Galahad’s creativity is interspersed throughout. Wick is a no-nonsense kind of guy (evidenced by the fact that his killing spree is motivated by someone murdering his dog), meaning he’s efficient, but Galahad is simply having more fun, peaking with the behind-the-back gun shot at 0:59. That’s mid-2000s Steve Nash s***.
Score: 2-0 Kingsman
Category #3: Signature Move
Everyone needs a signature move. Liam Neeson has the throat-chop, Dirk Nowitzki has the one-legged fadeaway, Betsy DeVos has the smile-and-don’t-answer-the-question, and John Wick has the headshot.
Score: 2-1 Kingsman
Category #4: Level of Competition
This one’s actually closer than you might think. Yes, Wick is going up against professionally trained security, but (1) some members of said security are ludicrously inept (I mean, seriously, what the f*** is the guy entering the right side of the screen at 4:32 doing and why doesn’t he just shoot Wick?) (2) don’t underestimate the difficulty of Galahad operating in a space where literally everyone is trying to attack him. That being said, nobody really gives him a fair fight, making Wick’s spree more impressive.
Score: 2-2 Tie
Category #5: Improvisation
A.k.a. “What do they do when their gun is empty?” When Wick runs out at 4:33 before he gets to use the headshot, he reloads the clip in a matter of seconds and employs the headshot. His commitment to his signature move is to be commended. When Galahad runs out at 1:23, he lands one measly punch before promptly getting Robert Horry-ed into an organ.
Score: 3-2 Wick
Category #6: Variety of Techniques Used
We established in Category #1 that Galahad uses a greater variety of weaponry. Look no further than his glorious book-knife combination from 2:04 to 2:14, which is the second greatest use of a book in a movie fight, trailing Jason Bourne’s use of a book in The Bourne Ultimatum by a large margin.
Score: 3-3 Tie
Category #7: Cleanliness of the Kills
I was going to award this category to Wick (in the rare case that his kills are bloody, like the one at 1:50, they’re at least aesthetically pleasing), but a compelling argument could be made that bloodier is better than cleaner, so I’m going to call this one a draw.
Score: 3-3 Tie
Category #8: Fewest Legitimate Chances of Being Stopped
Even when Galahad gets brutally stabbed in the neck at 2:36, he’s only mildly irritated and simply turns around and shoots the guy. For most of the spree, Wick doesn’t have too much trouble, but he eventually gets shot multiple times and is actually thrown over a railing.
Score: 4-3 Kingsman
Category #9: Appearance of Putting Forth Minimal Effort
Wick wins this category simply for the moment when Iosef is booking it through the club and freaking out while Wick is just casually walking, gently pushing people out of his way. The goal of life is to be at least one hundredth as cool as John Wick is in that moment.
Score: 4-4 Tie (We’ve got ourselves a ballgame, folks!)
Category #10 [SPOILER ALERT]: Does The Killer Die Immediately After the Fight?
I don’t know about you, but this seems significant to me.
FINAL SCORE: 5-4 Wick
John Wick’s killing spree is the better killing spree.
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