Social Navigation

Keanu Reeves in Immaculate Action Scene – The Hollywood Reporter


the creators behind John Wick The franchise has to lose sleep at night and think about how to outdo itself with each new installment. If so, it makes a strong case for insomnia, since John Wick: Chapter 4 It surpasses its formidable predecessors in almost every respect.

Bigger, tougher, grittier, longer, and featuring more exciting set pieces than one movie can comfortably handle, this epic action movie practically redefines stakes. If at times it’s hard to avoid feeling like hyper mayhem verging dangerously close to overkill, that seems fitting for a film series that features more corpses in some of the wars.

John Wick: Chapter 4

bottom line

As the title character says: “Yes!”

release date: Friday 24 March
ejaculate: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Lawrence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamir Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rena Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, Ian McShane, Marco Zaror, Natalia Tena
exit: Chad Stahelski
script writers: Shay Hattin, Michael Finch

Rated R, 2 hours 49 minutes

“Blood was not necessary in Osaka,” one character remarks after a typical violent brawl in a luxury hotel leaves dozens dead and buildings practically destroyed. Another says: “Bloodshed was the goal.” And such is the case with this highly successful series featuring Keanu Reeves as the ex-killer who thought he was out, only to be pulled back in, after his beloved puppy was murdered in the first film. bloodshed He is The point – or more accurately, the stunningly choreographed and filmed action sequences that specifically make use of the combination of martial arts and gun-fighting known as “gun-fu”. This version ups the ante even further, with an impressively executed car chase/gunfight through the streets of Paris – including around the Arc de Triomphe – that brings “car-fu” into the violent mix.

Things are not going well for the titular character as the movie begins, which is very unusual for him. The High Table, that international criminal organization that seems to run the world, has run out of blood. To that end, their actor, the Marquis (Bill Skarsgård, amusingly plays a slightly less lost character than Pennywise), puts a huge bounty on his head, attracting freelance agents like the Tracker (Shamir Anderson), who doesn’t. Go anywhere without the loyal and extremely lethal Belgian Malinois. The Marquis also hires the blind but no less dangerous Cain (Hong Kong star Donnie Yen), a former friend of Wick’s who only accepts the assignment because the High Table will kill his daughter if he doesn’t.

Things are not going well for Wake’s friends either. Early in the proceedings, the High Table’s emissary, known as Harbinger (Clancy Brown), shows up at the New York Continental Hotel, that cozy downtown haven for murderers, and informs its owner Winston (Ian McShane, funnier than ever) and his loyal concierge Lance Reddick says the hotel will be demolished in one hour.

Newcomers to the series would do well to do some research beforehand, because as the synopsis above indicates, mythology is a strong element. It can be said that, like many franchises that deal with fantasy worlds, the creators have gotten carried away with their complex builds. I’m not going to make that argument, because I’m considered the world’s masterful John Wick The movies, much like ours, made for one of their most delicious elements. But you can’t blame repeat viewers who watch the movie later via streaming for fast-forwarding through talking parts to get to the action.

Listing the highlights of those elaborately staged pieces would take up way too much space, because there are so damn many of them. (14 in total, according to the filmmakers. I can’t vouch for accuracy, because I’ve lost count.) Besides the aforementioned car chases and hotel battles featuring weapons, swords, bows and arrows, and a large variety of improvised weapons (a wick Major), there’s a spectacular fight scene in a multi-level, flooded nightclub featuring hundreds of revelers who barely notice the confrontation between Wake and the gold-toothed Kyla. The latter is played by action star and former MMA fighter Scott Adkins, and he’s amusingly outfitted with prosthetics and a bulky suit that doesn’t somehow hinder his fighting skills.

Then there’s the gunfight between Wick and his hordes of deadly minions in a suite of rooms in an apartment building, filmed from high above with a floating camera that follows the constant motion as if watching over a particularly violent ant colony. And another fight sequence that takes place on a steep staircase leading to the Sacré Coeur that’s ridiculousness — including Wick repeatedly falling down the length of it only to get back up and start over, like black-in-a-suit Wile E. Coyote — sparked laughter from the audience at the press show.

Director Chad Stalsky, who directed all of the previous films, and his amazing cast outperform their previous work, and that’s saying something. These sequences play like the groovy dance numbers of old MGM musicals, complete with incredibly complex and drawn-out continuous takes that feature the performers’ full bodies rather than kinetically edited snippets of a gun here or a limb there. They’re so ingenious that you practically want to stand up and applaud when they’re all finished.

Unlike many films set in exotic locations that offer some foundational shots of local landmarks before shooting in nondescript places somewhere in Canada, John Wick: Chapter Four It uses its many locations in Paris and Berlin to great effect. A particular shout out are the scenes involving the well-dressed Marquis, who appears to conduct his business only in places like the Paris Opera House and the Louvre Museum, both of which appear to be at his personal disposal.

Wearing a Kevlar bodysuit and shirt at one point that enables him to seemingly shoot thousands of times unscathed (he uses his lapels like a Dracula robe), Reeves fully adheres to the insane physical demands of a role that should, if not for the acting, be rewarding. Then just to survive. But he plays Wick so perfectly that he manages to thrill the audience with a mere “Yeah!”

Reeves generously shares the spotlight with his co-stars, including Yen, who delivers a performance so witty and charismatic that you can’t wait for the inevitable overture, and Japanese star Horoyuki Sanada as Shimazu, the Osaka hotel manager. who fights valiantly alongside Wick. Shimazu’s daughter, Akira (singer Rina Sawayama, making her screen debut), will undoubtedly appear in future versions. It will not be a file John Wick A movie without the return of the Bowery King, officially played by Laurence Fishburne.

run for nearly three hours, John Wick: Chapter 4 She could definitely be accused of being too tall. But I suspect many fans will complain.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.