The fourth entry in the action franchise, John Wick: Chapter 4 was released in 2023 and once again directed by Chad Stahelski. Directly following the events of the third film, Wick (Keanu Reeves) has been declared ex-communicado and left for dead, and must contend with an encroaching worldwide league of assassins attempting to take him down. Wick’s various friends, enemies, allies and opponents include: The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne); New York Continental Hotel Manager, Winston (Ian McShane) and concierge, Charon (the late Lance Reddick); the blind assassin, Caine (Donnie Yen); a member of the High Table who is challenged by Wick, the Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard); a tracker who calls himself Mr Nobody (Shamier Anderson), and; Shimazu Koji (Hiroyukia Sanada), the Hotel Manager of the Osaka Continental Hotel.
+ you will know by this point whether you like Keanu Reeves in this role or not, and I think he’s fine. His deadpan ‘Yeah’ has become something of a meme by this point, and this movie treats it as such. The supporting cast is extensive, but I had no issues with the acting or the actors themselves
+ there is one big action set piece that you’ll know when you see it, as it takes some cues from various video games from the past few years. It was a visual spectacle that I don’t think will be surpassed until someone makes a movie specifically to do so. One minor antagonist portrayed by Scott Adkins, stole the show for me and I almost wish he was the primary antagonist of the while film. Essentially, the action on offer here is more of the same as the last three movies
+ Clancy Brown is in this movie, and there is not a single movie that is not made better by Clancy Brown being in it
– much like my issue with the previous entry, new characters are introduced as being important to Mr Wick himself, but because we (the audience) have never heard of them, any emotional scenes are severely impacted. There is a particular scene here involving three new faces that I think was meant to be setting stuff up for the future, but it was just difficult to get invested and for me fell kind of flat
– there was absolutely no need at all for this movie to be nearly three hours long. I appreciate ‘extended’ action sequences as much as the next adrenaline junkie, but I often felt that thrill wear off mid-scene, which I guarantee was not the intention. Truth be told, I actually found a lot of it to be too far across that awesome/silly dividing line
– similarly, I like a bit of world building now and then, such as Wick visiting ‘The Sommelier’ (Peter Serafinowicz) in the second film, but there was nothing quite like that in this one
– let me be real with you, there is no universe wherein a blind hitman is a better fighter, shooter or tracker than a seeing hitman
> there are a lot of call outs to other media, including the obvious of The Matrix all the way to The Warriors. Some of it was fun
Should you see this film: Much like I said of the third film at the time, this was probably the weskest of the movies in the franchise so far. That said, we’re still talking about four of the best modern action movies around. You’ll know by now whether you like these movies, so who cares what I think? For what it’s worth, I think it’s good for a watch.