john wick chapter 4 review

John Wick: Chapter 4 Review: An Incredible Thrill Ride

The High Table awaits. What started as a mid-budget action film about an assassin avenging his slain puppy has become one of the most outstanding movie series ever made, continuing to this day with John Wick: Chapter 4. Keanu Reeves returns to his titular role as the legendary assassin who once killed three men with a pencil. This film features Wick facing off against the High Table in a movie that can only be described as the Avengers: Endgame of the John Wick series. This movie is a hard-hitting, action-packed thrill ride that will blow you away.

This film returns us to a world of assassins, rules, and consequences, where Wick shoots guns and says “yeah” a lot. We have Wick out for blood, executing members of the High Table, and a new cast filled with martial arts legends. This movie puts Donnie Yen and Hiroyuki Sanada on the screen together, a match that can only be described as a martial arts lover’s wildest fantasy. This opportunity exists due to the decision to move much of this film outside New York City. Like its predecessors, this film expands the world of the John Wick universe.

A movie like this can best be summarized with its three major action set pieces. The first action set piece is a massive shootout and fights at the Continental. Despite being near the film’s beginning, this sequence somehow tops the finale action sequences of the previous three movies. This sequence is unrelenting, bringing in many weapons and introducing Yen as Caine, a blind assassin working with the High Table and a former friend of Wick. The second one is a nightclub fight because you can’t have a John Wick movie without a nightclub fight. This scene is also incredible, using water and lighting to its advantage. These movies offer no shortage of some of the most gorgeously shot action put to screen.

Finally, this brings us to our final act. There are not enough words to describe what this last act will give you. It lasts almost an hour. John Wick kills people for about an hour straight, and it never gets boring for a second. There’s a ticking clock and a conveyor belt of assassins for Wick to punch, kick, and shoot through. This final hour can be split up into three different locations, and it builds and builds and builds to the film’s climactic moment between Wick, Caine, and the film’s main antagonist, the Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård). This is one of the most magnificent hours of action cinema I have ever seen and is genuinely one of the greatest finales of all time.

The villains Wick faces here are some of the strongest in the series. While he quickly tore through the bad guys in the first movie, some of the assassins in this movie are wearing entirely bulletproof attire, making it harder for Wick to kill them. At times, John Wick: Chapter 4 feels like the last few levels of a video game, each getting harder and harder. Keanu Reeves dedicates his all to these action sequences, performing most of the stunts himself. The highlight of his stunt prowess is a car chase shootout near the Arc de Triomphe. Before watching this movie, I was convinced Mission: Impossible – Fallout gave us the best sequence we could have seen at this location. This movie not only tops it; it triples it.

Yen’s character Caine is so cool and ingenious it’s hard not to root for him. Those who watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are no strangers to Yen playing blind, powerful characters, but this movie manages to take that in a mind-blowing direction. This film brings in incredible actors like Sanada, Skarsgård, and Laurence Fishburne and also brings in another martial arts legend: Scott Adkins. He has been in a few blockbusters and many direct-to-video films, but his fighting skill is in full force in this movie, even as he’s unrecognizable in his fat suit, makeup, and false teeth.

For the first two hours, the movie primarily works well. The issue lies in the pacing, as some scenes feel longer than they should, and it feels very structured, alternating between giving tons of dialogue and tons of action. The film also has a few issues surrounding Akira (Rina Sawayama), a fantastic character who appears in the first hour but is soon forgotten about entirely, with her storyline unresolved. The movie also gives a lot of time to The Tracker (Shamier Anderson), a new character who adds very little to the story, as his purpose in the plot is simply to be another assassin in pursuit of Wick.

However, the final hour of John Wick: Chapter 4 will have you hooting and hollering as Wick pulls off unbelievable feats. You won’t believe how insane this movie gets with its jaw-dropping choreography, fantastic production design, and neo-noir cinematography that matches Chad Stahelski’s mind-blowing vision.

SCORE: 9/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 9 equates to “Excellent.” Entertainment that reaches this level is at the top of its type. The gold standard that every creator aims to reach.


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