“John Wick: Chapter 4” Review

“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”, the tagline meaning “prepare for war,” appropriately foreshadowed the impending cataclysm of “John Wick: Chapter 4”. Chapter 3 saw Mr. Wick falling to the literal depths of NYC after being expelled from the world of hitmen. Chapter 4 is his retaliatory rising action out of that underground to incendiary effect.

Though difficult to measure, Chapter 4 is unequivocally the most ambitious film of the series, no small feat given how phenomenal each entry is. At a walloping three hour runtime for the fourth installment of a decade long run, Chapter 4 manages to provide visibly novel and striking settings and cinematography for its insane action sequences to more than justify itself several times over.

This perhaps final or penultimate entry is also the clearest examination of Mr. Wick’s endgame and moral consequences for all the rampage. For the first time over these four films of non-stop savagery, the audience is given both the space and urgency to these questions while continuing to peek through engrossing story mythos.

Another outstanding distinguishing element of Chapter 4 is just how impeccable its supporting characters are to Keanu Reeves, and which the the film focuses more on than in previous films. This includes Donnie Yen—freaking Ip Man himself—who brings his insane agility and acting chops to a blind master assassin as the equalizing foil to Mr. Wick; Bill Skarsgard’s delightfully chilling villain; and as if that wasn’t enough, Shamier Anderson, Rina Sawayama, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Marko Zaror’s game upping action and character presence. This is in addition to recurring legends Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick.

“John Wick: Chapter 4” is an absurdly epic solidification of the saga as the best and definitive action series of the modern era. Not since the Bourne trilogy has such finesse driving narrative continuity been pulled off in successive films. Maybe it is recency bias or the fact that my senses are pulverized with adrenaline depletion after the IMAX showing, but “John Wick: Chapter 4” could fairly be crowned the best of John Wick, and a perfected culmination of what makes these films so damn irresistible. Long live the king.

95% – A

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s