REVIEW: The Action-Packed John Wick: Chapter 4 Lives Up to its Sky-High Expectations

John Wick: Chapter 4 is a dark, funny, and thrilling story that delivers some of the most exciting actions in the series.

John Wik: Chapter 4 is a difficult task. Chad Stahelski directs the film. He must live up to the promise of escalation at the end of the previous entry, as well as the expectations of an audience that has followed Wick’s fights against criminals and killers for almost a decade. John Wick Chapter 4 is aware of this and doesn’t attempt to alter the formula or throw audiences off-guard. It does what it knows it can and must do, and it does it well. John Wick Chapter 4 is an excellent new entry in the series. It strikes the right balance between increasing the action from previous films and still giving it enough energy to stand out. John Wick Chapter 4, backed by a solid supporting cast is as entertaining and epic as you would expect.

In the aftermath of Johnwick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum John has physically recovered from his betrayal by Winston (Ian McShane), which put him at the death’s door. Although he had previously attempted to make peace with High Table, his anger at their actions leads him to take a direct and dangerous approach to gain his freedom from their world. He sets up a duel that could transform the entire organization. This strategy provokes the fury and anger of the High Table, personified by Bill Skarsgard, the Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard), a dangerous but foppish member of that group who was given unlimited resources to eradicate Wick.

The Marquis hires several people to target Wick (including a reluctant Caine, Donnie Yen), an old friend and fellow assassin who has personal reasons to make sure John is satisfied. Wick’s few remaining allies, including Winston’s loyal concierge Charon (Lance Reddick), and the boisterous Bowery King, (Laurence Fishburne), find targets for Wick. However, another wild card is a “tracker” claiming himself Nobody (Shamier Anderson), who’s looking for John’s massive bounty.

John Wick Chapter 4 takes just three hours. It’s a huge film, but it doesn’t feel like it. The film’s pacing is excellent and the craft is impeccable. This makes it easy for audiences to lose time amid the stunningly shot and well-choreographed fight scenes. The film doesn’t make any twists or turns and embraces the action as it is. This confident choice makes John Wickless a character and more of an agent of nature. Reeve is a solid actor who brings out the humanity and exhaustion of John Wick’s character while also executing an untold number of stunts that make him a formidable opponent.

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Supporting cast members Winston, Caine, and Nobody are given surprising fleshed-out development. This decision is a win-win for the production, particularly in John Wick’s transformation into an unstoppable force. His strong, consistent nature allows the characters around him to grow. The film truly a wild kill rate. It’s a refreshingly different film from the previous ones in the series. The film’s craft elevates it enough that it keeps it entertaining. You will find extended fistfights and car chases. There are also shoot-outs and shoot-outs. All of this while still allowing for personality and emotion. Yen is the standout among a group of talented performers who give great performances. Yen’s portrayal of Caine as a tragic representation of John — someone who longs to escape a life in danger and death, but has given up trying to break free from the High Table — makes him one of the most tragic and compelling antagonists Wick has faced. This also allows Skarsgard to play the Marquis in a big role, making him a foppish and thematic heir of the villains that started the series.

John Wick Chapter 4 has the most hilarious entry in the series. It features a cast of boisterous side characters as well as a slapstick-filled role for Scott Adkins. The film’s more tender moments are portrayed with great effect. It is a reminder of John Wick’s fragile humanity and his vengeance-fueled rampages. While there are a few beats that feel a little underutilized, such as the extended sequence that teases his origins, most of the film shows that style combined with substance can create great films. John Wick Chapter 4 is huge but well worth the effort.

John Wick: Chapter 4 opens on Mar. 24.

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