With the price on his head ever increasing, legendary hit man John Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin.
Director: Chad Stahelski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Ian McShane
Release Date: March 24, 2023
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some language
Runtime: 2h 49m
John Wick: Chapter 4, possibly the final entry in the main series, throws everything it has in this ludicrous but insanely entertaining entry. It’s a rare thing to watch a director grow in real time but Chad Stahelski has shown an impressive evolution over the span of his signature series. What started as a pulpy bit of well choregraphed gunsplotion slowly morphed into something more stylized complete with an ever expanding mythos. Stahelski once again ups the ante by delivering three distinctive and massive action set pieces with each bringing a very specific type of kinetic energy. The first act plays like a live action anime with the second bringing a more standard euro vibe and the third coming through as an homage to 1979's The Warriors with a Parisian demolition derby thrown in for good measure. The sheer creativity of the bloody ballet that's played out onscreen is impressive on multiple fronts. Even as some of the sequences start to boarder on self indulgent, there such a large variety of action that it rarely grows stale. At the center of it is all is Keanu Reeves and his particular brand of acting which fits this series perfectly, so much so that the supporting cast match is tone and tenor. Donnie Yen brings a fresh sense of energy as a blind frienemy assassin that echoes his Star Wars Rogue One character. Its a fun performance that becomes more enjoyable as the film goes on. Bill Skarsgård is the central villain for this entry, chewing up every bit of scenery with impressive aplomb even with a shaky French accent. Shamier Anderson character is literally called Nobody and the script doesn't do him any favors by giving him very little depth outside of having a faithful German Shepard. Rina Sawayama and Hiroyuki Sanada have some solid chemistry as father and daughter early on with hints that one might show up again in the future. Returning players like Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Reddick give the film a bit of franchise flavor even if they aren't given anything substantial to do. John Wick is the strange kind of series that manages to overcome its light characterization and basic storytelling with truly impressive action spectacle.
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