|“||John will come for you, and you will do nothing because you can do nothing, so get the f**k out of my sight!||”|
Viggo Tarasov to his son Iosef.
Viggo Tarasov was a notorious Russian crime boss and the leader of the Tarasov Mob, a powerful New York City crime family. His empire was built when the legendary hitman John Wick completed an "impossible task", in exchange for being released from his employment. Wick later returned for revenge after Viggo's son Iosef Tarasov killed Wick's dog during a home invasion. Viggo serves as the main antagonist in the film John Wick.
Viggo Tarasov inherited the leadership of the Tarasov Mob after his father died. It is mentioned that Viggo always had a rivalry with another 'gang.' While he was in a bar he saw John Wick kill 3 people with a pencil. This sparked the light in Viggo's' eyes; he saw John's potential and hired him to be part of the mob. But while in the mob, Wick asked to leave so he could marry Helen. Unwilling to let his best and most capable henchman to leave his service, Viggo gave him an 'impossible task', implied to be assassinating many notable members of rival mobs. However, with the help of Italian criminal Santino D'Antonio, Wick succeeds and Viggo had no choice but to let him retire. Wick's "impossible task" enabled the Tarasov family's rise to power in New York.
Viggo is first seen when he was talking to a car mechanic named Aurelio about striking his son Iosef. Aurelio explains that he did it because Iosef stole John Wick's car and killed his pet puppy Daisy (which was a present from John's late wife Helen) for fun. Viggo was shocked by this revelation and ended the call, realizing that John is intending to kill Iosef in revenge for his dog's death.
As a result, Viggo punches his son twice in the stomach after giving him a drink. Viggo explains to Iosef that John was once his best hitman, who was known as "Baba Yaga", or, the Boogeyman. Viggo explains that John is a man of "focus, commitment, and sheer will", and that he had once seen John kill three men in a bar with nothing but a pencil. He also explains John's former position within the Tarasov family, and how it changed when John met Helen and told Viggo that he wanted to retire to spend a new life with Helen. Viggo agreed to let John go on the condition that he complete an "impossible task". Much to Viggo's surprise, John managed to accomplish the task, which led to the formation of the Tarasov syndicate, and Viggo released John from his contract as agreed. Viggo angrily berates Iosef for stealing John's car and killing his dog, but Iosef refuses to care and instead tries to persuade his father to undo the things he committed by finishing off John only to be swiftly dismissed and warned by Viggo, that John will eventually come for him and kill him.
Viggo tries to reason with John via a phone call, but John silently refuses. Viggo then sends a 13-man hit squad to John's house to kill him, but John kills them all and has the bodies professionally removed. An unsurprised Viggo then places a $2 million contract for John's death and personally offers the contract to Marcus, John's mentor and old friend, who accepts.
Upon learning from Ms. Perkins that John had sought refuge in the Continental Hotel - which had a strict rule against conducting any business on its premises - he doubles the bounty for Perkins to assassinate John on Continental grounds. He also had his son Iosef secured at his nightclub, the Red Circle. Not long afterward, John storms the nightclub and attempts to kill Iosef but to no avail, as Viggo's chief of security, Kirill, and his henchmen waylaid John while Iosef fled.
Viggo discovers that his cache of money and blackmail - his "leverage" over the city - was destroyed by John after an assault on the church that served as a front for the cache. He has the priest that John coerced into giving access killed but is attacked again by John before he can leave. Though John kills several of Viggo's guards, Kirill smashes into John with a car, knocking him out and effectively ending the fight.
When John awakes, he is restrained on a chair inside of the empty church and is taunted by Viggo. As Viggo leaves, Kirill and another of Viggo's guards begin suffocating John with a plastic bag; Marcus, however, on a neighboring roof with his sniper rifle, kills one, allowing John the chance to break from his restraints and kill Kirill. John takes a shotgun and intercepts Viggo's SUV, shooting and killing the driver before coercing Viggo into giving up Iosef's location and pulling the $2 million contract.
Viggo warns John that "They know you're coming", but John proceeds anyway. While Viggo rolls and smokes a cigarette in his office, John attacks the safehouse and kills Iosef. Later, John and Marcus meet up briefly; Perkins, still on Viggo's payroll, sees and reports this, and Viggo captures and tortures Marcus at Marcus' home for failing to kill John. Viggo calls John to tell him what became of Marcus; we see Viggo cut open Marcus' femoral artery, attempting to have Marcus bleed out, but Marcus manages to assault and kill two of Viggo's men before he is taken down.
After Winston tells John of Viggo's destination - a helicopter on the harbor - John intercepts Viggo's small convoy in a Dodge Charger. When he realizes that John has come for him, Viggo can only laugh, having seemingly given up. While his lieutenant, Avi, is desperately searching for a gun, he taunts him by offering up a pistol and yanking it back when Avi reaches for it.
While John is distracted killing Avi, Viggo rams his SUV into the side of John's car, attempting to push John off the side of the wharf and down the long drop to the bottom of a dry dock. John manages to escape just before his car goes over the side, but by the time he regroups, Viggo is already at the helicopter. Rather than run, however, Viggo casts his gun aside and chooses to fight John hand-to-hand, saying "no more bullets" when John approaches.
After a short fight, Viggo is left shivering in the torrential rain with a broken arm and a knife in his shoulder. As John walks away, he can only say "Be seeing you, John" before succumbing to his wounds.
Viggo is skilled in martial arts, being nearly able to match John in their hand-to-hand fight at the end. He also seems to have extensive leadership capabilities, given his seemingly unchallenged rule of the mob in New York City.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- Despite being a powerful crime boss, he does not have a seat at the High Table, indicating that he and his organization are not held in the same regard as some of the other syndicates.
- Although John Wick was his best hitman, he never told his son about him, which is his greatest mistake.
- He has a huge stack of gold coins that are to be used in Continental Hotels.