Coming to theatres this Friday from director Chad Stahelski, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate comes the final chapter with JOHN WICK: Chapter 4.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has not changed his revenge against the High Table and begins again with The Elder in Morocco. What he doesn’t know is that the High Table has called up on the Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard) who believes he knows how to take down Wick and it starts with the New York Continental Hotel and Winston Scott (Ian McShane).
Wick turns to friend Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada), the manager of the Osaka Continental Hotel much to the dismay of Koji’s daughter Akira (Rina Sawayama). The Marquis sets his sites on Osaka as his next point of impact but with the help of Caine (Donnie Yen) who has begrudgingly been recruited.
Now on the run again with limited places to go, Winston reminds Wick that he has every right to challenge the Marquis to a duel. The only problem is that Wick must be part of a family and the only place he can find that is in Berlin. He must convince Katia (Natalia Tena) that what he plans is good for everyone.
Helping with the plan is The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) who has found an excellent life under the streets of Paris and is thrilled to help his friend Wick. Watching all of this with fascination is Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson) who tracks Wick while playing the money game with the Marquis.
As the rules for the dual are set by the Harbinger (Clancy Brown), the die is cast for the final showdown that could earn John Wick what he has been fighting for – freedom!
Reeves as John Wick will always be John Wick and any attempt to remake or carry on the franchise without him would be an outrage. In this film, Wick is in for a two hour and 50-minute fight with time for one suit change only and Reeves makes it look fantastic. There is no reason to go over his performance because this is purely a visual film and Wick isn’t about conversation. This time out, Wick announces from the beginning that he intends to finish what they started and Reeves is taking it seriously in every step he takes.
McShane as Winston has his own axe to grind and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind grinding it in the Marquis! Knowing that he has always been limited in how he can help Wick, this is an opportunity to set his own path straight. I’ve always loved McShane in this role because he brings the cool and calm to a very intense storyline.
Skarsgard as the Marquis is full of himself and has no problem loving the extra fine things in life. Making promises to the table about the destruction of John Wick has made him a little more than full of himself and everyone has taken notice. The Marquis is a smooth talker but Wick is not falling for it and neither did I. That being said, Skarsgard glides through the film without ever raising his voice and looks good doing it.
Yen as Caine comes to understand the pain Wick is fighting for now that he has his own family. Having no choice but to go after Wick, he also goes up against men he calls brothers. Yen is capable of some fantastic stunts and martial arts which is seamless in this film. He has always been on the list of actors I’ve enjoyed and, in this film, he is smooth and aware.
Anderson as Mr. Nobody (are you catching that Mr. Anderson is in the same film as Neo and Morpheus? Just sayin’) clearly knows how to track John Wick but there is something else. He knows the job, he knows the money but to get to see Wick in action and a side no one else has, Mr. Nobody starts to wonder what is the truth behind the man. Anderson’s role is that of a swift and smart man who knows his business and has a dog that I’d like to hang out with.
Fishburne as the King is clever and always has John Wick’s back. Working with Winston becomes so much more enjoyable under the streets of Paris. I am always thrilled to see Fishburne on the screen but as the King, he is a man who sees all and knows how to handle it.
Sanada as Koji understands Wick and tries to find a way to truly help bring this all to a close. As the manager of the Osaka Continental, he is aware that something bigger is no at play. Sanada is such an overlooked actor and this is a shining example of his acting and martial arts skill. Sawayama as Akira knows that anyone around John Wick has a target on them and coming upon him and Caine means that the world as she knows it is over. Her stint was short but listen to what she has to say to Wick in the subway.
Shout out to Brown as the Harbinger keeping character cool, calling it as he sees it and looking stunning in black.
Other cast include George Georgiou as The Elder, Aimee Kwan as Mia, Scott Adkins as Killa, Marko Zaror as Chidi, and Lance Reddick as Charon.
JOHN WICK: Chapter 4 needs no introduction, no explanation and no sum up because this character has been doing it since 2014. We know why it all started, we know we it keeps happening and we know why it comes to taking out anyone that gets in the way of ending it. Reeves has put his stamp on this role that was created by Greg Pak and Giovanni Valletta from the comic book limited series telling the story of Jardani ‘Johnny’ Jovanovich aka John Wick.
The film comes in at two hours and fifty minutes (bathroom first!) and if you think that’s too long then you don’t deserve to see it. John Wick has come a long way in the franchise so, as far as I’m concerned, he can take as long as he damn well pleases to finish what he started. This is a film of constant bombardment of those who are intent on being the one to take out John Wick.
Now, there are a few moments that were a little far fetched but, as a fan of John Wick, I am willing to overlook it. I did giggle at what seemed to be a bit of Walter Hill’s 1979 film THE WARRIORS and I’ll leave that hint right here. I also thought it funny to see Wick in a subway tunnel waiting for a train in a bit of a reminiscent Neo moment. Again, I ain’t mad about it!
The smashing up, car chases, clubs, countries, music, action, martial arts – all of it – fantastic! The audience was cheering, laughing, cheering, pain reacting, fist pumping, and yelling at the screen which made watching the film a total audience experience. Now that is how you go to the movies to see a film like JOHN WICK: Chapter 4.
This is a gather-up-a-gang-of-people film so that popcorn, snacks, soda and experience are shared so leaving the theatre is loud talking about the film. Go to the theatre excited and leave the theatre excited!
In the end – Baba Yaga!