I’m fairly new to the John Wick fandom. Oh sure – I was aware of them. I even watched the first one… although it was years after it was released. I wasn’t Anti-Jonathan Wick, I just hadn’t gotten around to watching the others. I finally watched chapters 2 and 3 just about a month or so ago and was thrilled to hear that a 4th chapter was soon arriving in cinemas! I enjoyed the first chapter and I felt two and three greatly expanded the world John inhabits.
I did have a bit of a revelation whilst watching these movies. They feel to me like a theme-park stunt show put to screens. I was going to say “put to film” but nothing is on film anymore unless you are an art film student or Christopher Nolan.
I mean the “theme-park” comment in the highest possible praise. I’m a fan of Universal Studios and Disney World and I love the live stunt shows they put on there. The Bourne Stuntacular and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular are a real fun time for me.
The John Wick series feels like it inhabits this space. They are incredibly well-choreographed and highly entertaining films. The physical combat, the gunplay, and the car stunts all fill that fun action movie mold that leaves you amped up and smiling.
I am pleased to say that John Wick: Chapter 4 does not deviate from this formula, nor should it.
This is my first experience seeing Jonathan shoot, punch and kick asses on the big screen and it was glorious. Our story picks up just shortly after Chapter 3 ended. We get a tiny bit of setup for the first few minutes before we rocket back into sequence after sequence of thrilling chases, incredible shootouts, swordfights, axe-throwing, and just about any other scenario imaginable to put Mr. Wick through the wringer.
There is a sequence in this movie that shifts your perspective to view the action from the top down and it took my breath away. The action sequences in this one are really top-tier and absolutely thrilling to watch.
This movie knows what it is and really has fun with the format. There are times when a scenario presents itself on screen and you know what’s coming next, but you are roaring with laughter because they set it up so well.
Many of the continuing characters are back for Chapter 4 along with the addition of some new frenemies for John to fight against or alongside. The world of these movies makes it clear that everyone owes someone something, and favors are quite often called in… even if the characters don’t want to be brought into it.
Donnie Yen as Caine, Bill Skarsgård as Marquis and Shamier Anderson as Tracker offer plenty of new blood to put up against the returning Keanu Reeves‘ John Wick. Of course, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are back as Hotel Manager Winston and his Concierge Charon as well as Laurence Fishburne‘s Bowery King.
We get some new supporting characters in the form of the Harbinger – played by the always badass Clancy Brown, Akira – played by pop superstar Rina Sawayama, and Shimazu – played by Hiroyuki Sanada.
In summary, this is a great addition to the John Wick story and a great overall action movie. I feel this series has grown better with each chapter and I’m here for whatever they do next.
Just before I was set to publish this, we learned of actor Lance Reddick’s passing. He was a wonderful part of this series and absolutely great in every other thing I saw him in. My condolences to his family and friends. It really sounds like he was a wonderful human.
I suppose you have a better thought on the subject?