Friday, March 24, 2023

John Wick 4 - Movie Review

The Movie: John Wick 4

The Director: Chad Stahelski

The Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, Natalia Tena, Marko Zaror, Ian McShane

The Story: John Wick uncovers a path to defeating the High Table.

The Review:
The John Wick franchise for me has become one of the best cinematic series to come along in quite some time. The first movie sets the tone and expectation that Keanu Reeve's title character is one of the most badass assassins to ever walk the planet while also hinting at a larger world to explore. The second and third movies expanded the universe (Wickverse?) in some poretty crazy ways and the emphasis began to turn towards bigger and better action set pieces while introducing more characters, more backstory, and more dangers for Mr. Wick.

Now we have the fourth entry in the franchise and holy crap what a ride! If you're nervous about the nearly three hour run time, don't be. Director Chad Stahelski keeps things rolling along at an intensely fast pace without overloading your brain or force feeding you too much action. The story never feels over done or drawn out and, by the time the credits started to roll, I still wasn't quite ready for it to be over even if everything does come to a very satisfying conclusion.

The additions of Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rina Sawayama to the cast was a brilliant move and each of them is really at the top of their game.Yen and Sanada add a level of credibility to the martial arts action that hadn't really been hit before within the franchise and it was great to see Osaka Japan utilized to its full extent. Bill Skarsgård is always great in everything he does and especially when playing villainous type character from his turns as Pennywise in the It movies to this new role as Marquis, a man who has high aspirations with The High Table.

Oh, did I leave out Rina Sawayama from that paragraph? If you don't know this super talented woman, she is first and foremost an amazing singer who has been touring around the world and now she's, seemingly out of the blue, adding an acting credit to her resume. I guess if you're going to make a big splash in Hollywood, you go straight for one of the biggest and best action franchises in the world and boy does she impress in this debut effort. her fight scenes are some of the best in the movie which is saying a lot for any John Wick installment and I really really hope we get to see more.

Speaking of seeing more, I understand there is a prequel TV series in the works for the John Wick-verse or whatever it's being called although there really needs to be more movies as well. As good as each movie is, there's really no reason to stop any time soon and especially with some major storylines wrapping up in this movie. I'm not going to give anything away but we finally get some cloisure regarding certain aspects of this world and yet there is also so much possiblity for the future.

I've mentioned the fighting and the action a couple times already but I have to go a bit deeper here as, again this may seem surprising, the choreography on display is some of the best in the franchise and also some of the best we've seen in recent martial arts, action, and/or gun-fu history. The John Wick movies and The Raid movies are already the gold standard within these genres so it's that much more impressive to see the creators maintain and even exceed the level of quality.

Also, this movie is a visually stunning feast for the eyes that you just have to witness on the biggest screen you can find and I'm not just talking about the fight scenes. There are so many beautiful shots of just about everything from the Eiffel Tower to downtown Osaka and everything in between. Director Chad Stahelski and cinematographer Dan Laustsen have done some really great work together on chapters 2 and 3 of the franchise although this might be their best collaboration yet.

I will say that this movie does go full on Fast and Furious when it comes to physics and physicality so be prepared to bend the rules of normalcy and just accept that people can get run over by cars mutliple times and continue to fight. Of course, this is Keanu Reeves so stretching reality a bit only enhances his already legendary status in real life and within the story. To top that off, the fight scenes are even more exciting and you'll find yourself cheering and screaming at so many different moments. There is a certain sequence involving speacialized bullets that I think is one of the most insanely cool and fun and satisfying things I have seen in a long time.

The Verdict:
John Wick 4 is everything I wanted this movie to be and more. The fights are incredible, the action is over the top, the cast is stellar, and Keanu Reeves is Keanu Reeves. What more could you possibly want? This movie has already reserved a spot in my favorite movieso fhe year. Your move, Hollywood.

No comments :

Post a Comment

The Hot List