, , , , , , , , , ,

John Wick Chapter 4

Review by Paul Bowler.

Keanu Reeves is back in action again in John Wick Chapter 4 as the series’ legendary hit man with a price on his head. So with everyone, quite literally gunning for him, John Wick raises the stakes and takes his fight against the infamous High Table to a global level, seeking out the most powerful players in the organisation in his attempt to finally earn his freedom. But first Reeves’ indestructible hit man will have to take on a myriad of rival killers, no mean feat considering the ever increasing bounty on his head, before he can take his shot at a duel with the organisation’s head honcho Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård).

The fourth instalment of a franchise can often be a major stumbling block for a franchise, no matter how established or popular it has become. Fortunately John Wick Chapter 4 manages to doge that particular bullet. Keanu Reeves is on fine form as you’d expect, indeed his role as the franchises leading assassin fits him like a glove now, and you will be left marvelling at his amazing martial arts skills.

He reunites once again with director Chad Shahelski for what is arguably one of the bloodiest and most ultra-violent chapters in the dazzling gun-fu neon-noir saga so far. Notably, this is the first John Wick movie that doesn’t have the involvement of series creator and writer Derek Kolstad. If you thought the films had been complicated so far, Shay Hatten and Michael Finch arguably elevate the series to a whole new level of bone crunching gun-fu fighting – albeit by sacrificing any real semblance of having a cohesive plot.

Not that any of that really matters as it’s virtually impossible not to get swept along with the grand scale of Chapter 4 and its episodically stylised globe trotting narrative that takes John Wick to New York, Paris, Japan and Berlin. Yes, JWC4 does get a little pretentious and ridiculously OTT at times, but those traits are as intrinsic a part of this franchise now as the gun totting mayhem. The High Table remains as slippery as ever, while Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King and Ian Mc Shane’s New York Continental Hotel manager Winston Scott also return as Wick’s key allies. As the action goes global John Wick encounters  a host of different friends and foes along the way: with Donnie Yen as the blind hitman Caine, while Reeves’ 47 Ronin co-star Hiroyuki Sanada adds some samurai style as Wick’s ally Shimazu, whose deadly daughter Akira is played by Rina Sawayama, and Scott Adkins is German High Table boss Killa. 

The stylishly choreographed fights and set-pieces are a balletic neon drenched spectacle and undoubtably  everything we’ve come to expect from the franchise. Highlights include an astounding fight sequence in Osaka, there’s a frenetic battle in  packed nightclub, a breathtaking fight as cars speed around the Arc de Triomphe, and Wick’s epic fight up the 222 steps to the Sacre-Coeur ahead of a sunrise showdown. Stahelski’s direction never falters for a moment as this rollercoaster ride of unrelenting set-pieces unfolds, with shaky camera angels and quick edits accentuating the pace throughout. John Wick Chapter 4 may be nearly three hours of wall-to-wall fighting, but Reeves’ stoic performance, and Staheski’s eye for detail ensures this instalment is one of John Wick’s most thrilling adventure yet!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook