Okay, first things first: John Wick Chapter 4 has a post-credits scene. Considering how bonkers this movie is, you should probably sit through the credits anyway because everyone deserves a MASSIVE round of applause.
The fourth in Chad Stahelski‘s action series, John Wick Chapter 4 brings back Keanu Reeves as the titular assassin John Wick, this time matching him up against the likes of Marko Zaror (Undisputed III, Machete Kills), Hiroyuki Sanada (Twilight Samurai, The Last Samurai, Rush Hour 3), Scott Adkins (Undisputed, Ninja, Ip Man 4), and Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Flashpoint, Sha Po Lang).
Guns. Lots of guns.
Talking about the action real quick- as expected, the action in JW4 is top tier: nothing is wasted. (Okay, I do have some nitpicks but that’s me being an action movie nerd but really it’s nothing you typically wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking for it) The gunfight choreography is typical John Wick– close and furious, with the added bonus of the higher level assassin’s nice suits allowing the choreo to play a bit more, turning the gunfights into something more akin to martial arts choreo, which is nothing new to fans of the series and this movie manages to maintain that quality, even upping the intensity at time with some new twists to the action (and revisiting some old ones).
Be seeing you, John.
I’ve long maintained that one of the most appealing things in John Wick has been its world-building, and JW4 does not disappoint. As is typical with most action movies, the plot is basically a reason for the asskicking, JW has always had a plot that was actually intriguing. Building off the consequeces of John’s actions in the first three movies, JW4 delivers a satisfying wrap up to the story built up across John’s rampage, and… it’s just beautifully done. I honestly recommend giving the first three movies a review watch before jumping in to this one, because while I suppose you can do without all the plot DOES take place within weeks of each other and having it all as one long story helps with the appreciation. (and the running gags!)
Okay first up, lemme go on a bit about the martial arts actors. I’m a big martial arts movie fan, so this was a big deal for me. Anyway. Whoever had the brilliant idea to put Scott Adkins in a fatsuit was a mad genius, because putting one of the most acrobatic martial arts actors out there today in a fatsuit and casting him as what is basically a Bond villain has to be one of my favorite characters in recent history because MAN that was AMAZING. Apologies if I sound like I’m overhyping a bit villain for this movie, but I just LOVED IT for some reason and it’s that sort of experimentation that has made me a Wick fan from the first movie.
Donnie Yen, on the other hand, plays a more typical trope; the blind assassin, but the character he injects into it is great. The chemistry he has with Keanu’s Wick is a little dry, but when you think about it, these are two dudes who basically kill for a living, so any bonds made over that might be a little weird.
But. Man. I want to talk about the big bad of the movie, but since I try to avoid spoiling people in these reviews, let’s just say I have not had such a convincing big bad in a while who has made me want to punch their face in ten minutes into meeting him, and their performance was perfect for this movie and franchise. Absolutely amazing.
Overall, John Wick Chapter 4 is a hard 9/10 for me- some bits drag but it’s forgivable, action is GREAT, dialogue sticks with you, and I barely felt the nearly three hour runtime. Must watch for John Wick fans, and action/martial arts movie fans in general.
As of this typing, March 24, the movie should just be hitting cinemas. So what’re you waiting for? Put on that nice suit, and make those reservations at the Continental. Be seeing you.