FILM REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 4
The John Wick-iest John Wick film yet
John Wick returns in the fourth chapter of the renowned action franchise, giving us the John Wick-iest John Wick film yet. Still on the run and exacting revenge on the mysterious High Table, Wick has one more shot at earning his freedom or losing his life that takes him on a globetrotting, face-shooting, nut-kicking adventure.
Indeed, as expected, the action in John Wick: Chapter 4 is balls-to-the-wall insane and, very possibly, the most fun you can have watching fight scenes at the cinema nowadays. Having defied reality more and more with each film, John Wick 4 ups the ante once again, mixing beautifully choreographed hand-to-hand combat with unending gunfights, exhilarating car chases, and unbelievable stunts, all of which are awe-inspiringly delivered by director Chad Stahelski. They may strain credibility but are undeniably entertaining to watch and have a good sense of humour.
Say what you will about Keanu Reeves’ acting range, but he is convincing as an action star, appearing to do most of his own stunts, to the point that it is hard to imagine anyone else in this fairly basic role.
The film is about 90% action but, with a runtime that almost reaches three hours, the non-action scenes can become very tedious. Despite looking great and featuring cool characters, particularly Donnie Yen’s blind assassin Caine, the story is thin and the world, though sometimes entertainingly hyper-real, feels like it makes up the rules as it goes along. Gone is the simplistic but pure motivation of a man getting revenge for the death of his dog, and in its place a man on the run from an obscure organisation whose only purpose seems to be playing the world’s biggest game of seek-and-destroy.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is a pretty apt summation of the franchise as a whole: when the action’s happening, it’s a lot of ridiculous, hyper-real fun. Beyond that, it offers a thin story and little else of substance.