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Review: John Wick Chapter 4 brings more enjoyable action to the John Wick franchise
April 11, 2023
John Wick: Chapter 4 is an action thriller directed by Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, and others. It was written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. It is the fourth and most recent film in the John Wick franchise and was released on March 24, 2023 in the United States.
The John Wick franchise has been generally held in high regard by many. John Wick: Chapter 4 continues this trend by having more of what made the other films in the franchise so well liked. While the story is fairly simple, the characters are well-acted and likable. The action sequences in this film are some of the best in the entire franchise. These and other factors add up to make this a very enjoyable action film.
A big reason this film is so enjoyable is the characters and the actors that play them. Keanu Reeves reprises his role as John Wick and continues to play the role well. Bill Skarsgård plays the main antagonist in the film, the French character Marquis Vincent de Gramont. While he doesn’t have the greatest French accent, he plays the narcissistic, entitled, and cowardly character well. Both of these actors do a good job at playing their character, but the standout performance belongs to Donnie Yen, who plays Caine. Caine is a blind assassin who was forced to hunt Wick because de Gramont was threatening his daughter. Another performance I enjoyed was Scott Adkins’ performance as Killa Harkan, usually just called Killa in the film. While Killa was only a minor antagonist, he was one of the best parts of any scene he was in.
Another large reason that the John Wick franchise is liked is for its action scenes. John Wick: Chapter 4 has many great action scenes, some of which I consider to be the best in the series. There is an action scene where John Wick fights a bunch of henchmen in an abandoned house with a dragon’s breath shotgun, which is a shotgun that shoots pellets that catch on fire. During this scene, the camera goes above the rooms where they are fighting which shows the fight from a top-down angle. Part way through the film, John Wick has to reach a specific location before sunrise while being chased and attacked by other hitmen. He has to fight his way up over 300 stairs, which results in a unique action scene where he uses the slopes and handrails to his advantage. My favorite action scene in the film is one where John Wick had to fight multiple hitmen in the middle of a busy street. They have to constantly avoid traffic while also using the cars as weapons.
While the movie is great, I do have some nitpicks with it. One major character that I did not really care for was Mr. Nobody. He did not have much character development and wasn’t all too interesting. It felt as if he was being set-up for a spin-off film or TV show that will be made later. In a few action scenes, the people around sometimes do not react or panic to the action going on next to them. Some of them do react but do not run away but instead just stare. While this does stick out a bit, it doesn’t greatly affect my enjoyment of the film.
Overall, John Wick: Chapter 4 is a greatly enjoyable film that excels in the aspects that made the first three films so enjoyable. If you enjoyed the first three films, you will enjoy this one too.