Starring: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, and Ian McShane
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Tagline: Baba Yaga.
ohn Wick: Chapter 4 is basically a 3-hour long string of action sequences. And what a glorious string of action sequences it is! The movie continues the tale of Keanu Reeves’ titular super-assassin as he attempts to settle the score and find the peace – whatever form it may take – that has eluded him since whatshisface made the very unfortunate decision to kill Wick’s dog.
Familiar faces return as we go around the world, from New York to Osaka to Berlin to Paris, with The High Table – represented this time by Bill Skarsgård’s odious Marquis Vincent de Gramont – still trying to eliminate Wick, while the protagonist continues his quest for revenge against the nefarious criminal organization.
Lots and lots of fighting ensues. You’ve got skirmishes of all varieties with some innovative choreography on display here, the body count soaring with each well-crafted, well-performed, hyper-stylized action set piece.
It does feel a little overlong and there are times when the epic run of violence starts to border on tedium, but what keeps Chapter 4 riveting is the fact that we are already invested in the fate of its characters. (There isn’t enough character building in this instalment on its own, so make sure you watch the previous three films first if you really want to enjoy this episode.)
The wins make you cheer, the losses resonate. Reeves is always easy to root for, the supporting performances are terrific – Donnie Yen (playing a blind assassin) and Hiroyuki Sanada (portraying the manager of the Osaka Continental) particularly stand out; and there are characters – like Rina Sawayama’s Akira – who have so much potential as the franchise goes on. Chad Stahelski makes sure that everything, from the adrenaline rush to the sombre tones, hits its mark.
All in all, Chapter 4 is yet another entertaining instalment of what has been a solid action series. Enjoy the impressive fight choreography and stunt work, and feel quite a few emotions as the film reaches its tragic but satisfying conclusion.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection