Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
John Wick: Chapter 4 is a brutal, bloody and wildly fun addition to this beloved saga.
Once again, Hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is trying to gain his freedom from the High Table. Wick realizes there is a path to freedom, but first, he must defeat the new enemy Marquis (Bill Skarsgård) who wants him dead. Marquis has powerful alliances across the world and an ever-flowing fountain of money that allows him to increase the price on Wick’s head. This forces Wick to travel across the globe, from New York to Japan to Paris, and fight both friends and foes. But will Wick be able to defeat Marquis, the only person standing in his way of what he desires most in this world — freedom?
Chapter 4 is an Action movie fan’s utopia. Since the first John Wick, audience members have been blown away. It’s a standout Neo-Noir Action franchise due to its stunts, stylish direction, tight writing and dark humour. All of which the talented Reeves anchors in his performance of the now legendary Hitman. A portrayal that has become so beloved, fans feel Reeves and Wick are one and the same. Once again, Reeves commands the screen as Mr. Wick and turns in a performance that is both physically and emotionally demanding.
With this fourth instalment, Director Chad Stahelski, who has directed all four films, takes what he’s achieved previously and manages to reach new heights. Creating a non-stop high-octane Action flick start to finish. Stahelski’s expert direction works hand-in-hand with the impeccable editing by Nathan Orloff and the entire Sound Department. The direction, quick edits and impactful sound that accompanies each hit, stab, shot or fall taken or given is an outstanding achievement. Then there’s the Cast and Stunt Team performing jaw-dropping sequences.
One of these Cast members is Singer-Songwriter Rina Sawayama, who plays Akira. She steals the spotlight in a fight sequence near the beginning of the Film. A scene that audiences will want to get out of their seats and clap for. She’s one of the new additions to this Franchise. Another fresh face is Scarborough’s Shamier Anderson who plays Tracker, or Mr. Nobody as he’d rather be called. He’s a captivating presence on-screen and has perfect comedic timing. He shines in scenes he shares with Reeves, particularly one funny yet brutal stair sequence near the end.
The incomparable Donnie Yen brings an old friend of Wick’s to the screen, Caine. Yen brings Caine a smooth wit and killer moves that will make him one of the most memorable characters in the Saga. Then there’s Skarsgård, with a spot-on French accent, who has some tough shoes to fill as one of Wick’s enemies. He excels at his task as the rich Frenchman who’s all bark but would rather pay someone else to perform the bite.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is one of the best installments in the Saga…some will probably argue it is the best. But with a Franchise as exceptional as this one, it is too touhh a task to rank them. And even with a runtime of just under three hours, it cruises by in a blink of an eye.
Lionsgate and Cineplex Pictures release JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 on Friday, March 24, 2023.
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