The fourth installment of the John Wick franchise follows the same mantra as the previous ones: More. More. More. There are more action sequences, with a whopping 14 – almost four times more than the earlier films. More locations, including a global journey from Jordan to Japan to Paris to Berlin. And more running time, at 169 minutes, will keep audiences engaged until the end credits.
Director Chad Stahelski, a former martial arts expert and stunt man for star Keanu Reeves in the Matrix films, clearly knows what the audience wants and expects. So he ratchets up the action and intensity in this new film, which opens with the assumption that John Wick is dead, making it a thrilling ride from start to finish.
Here are some of the standout moments in the film:
Reeves’ command of the martial arts/gun fu/now car fu too genre is on full display in a dazzling action sequence set in a mirrored room adorned with Japanese artifacts. He battles against Donnie Yen’s character, Caine, who uses a sword and pistol against Wick’s samurai sword, guns, and AR15.
Another long set piece occurs in a Berlin nightclub where Wick faces a new foe, Killa (MMA star Scott Adkins).
In a Paris-set sequence, the antihero takes the wheel of a classic muscle car. Then, it rampages through the streets of Sacre Coeur, where Bill Skarsgard’s character, The Marquis, rules.
The big finale is a modern-day martial arts riff on the classic duel to the death, presided over by the aging man known only as the Harbinger (veteran Clancy Brown).
Reeves continues to impress in his role as Wick, a man of few words who lets his actions do the talking. The casting of two genre giants, Donnie Yen, and Hiroyuuki Sanada, takes the series to new levels. Skarsgard is excellent as a lethal villain. Rina Sawayama also makes an impressive feature debut as Shimazu’s skilled daughter and concierge of his Osaka hotel.
Scott Rogers, the lead stunt coordinator/choreographer, helps stage these spectacular set pieces, making the action sequences some of the best in recent cinema.
Although the film may be slightly bloated at times, it never slows down and remains a feast for franchise fans. With its impressive action scenes, strong performances, and thrilling storyline, John Wick: Chapter 4 is a must-see for action movie lovers.
Take advantage of this film, exclusively in theaters, including IMAX, and stay until the end of the credits for the most bang for your buck.