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Film Review: John Wick - Chapter 4 (2023)

Kelaru rating: ★★★★

Available on Prime Video | Runtime: 2hrs 49mins

 

John Wick Chapter 4 has recently turned up on my Prime Video recommended feed and since I am one of the few that hasn’t seen this in cinemas, I decided to give it a go.


While I am a fan of the rest of the films and The Continental series (thoughts on that coming soon), I have avoided Chapter 4 simply because the others did such a great job and didn’t want to risk ruining that by watching a rehash of what has been done before. Besides, how many ‘part 4’ do you remember being done well in the history of film ?!?


Boy, was I wrong.

Photo credit: Lionsgate Films UK

Keanu Reeves reloads his guns and loads up on ammo once again to blast his way through this 2 and a half hour instalment in the John Wick saga. And fans of the near-mute assassin will be pleased to know that this chapter, aptly titled ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ delivers all the intense action, deadpan humour and expertly choreographed fight sequences they have come to expect from the franchise.


Set shortly after the events of Chapter 3, Wick is still on the run with a massive bounty on his head after breaking the cardinal rules of the High Table. This time, he travels to Berlin, Paris and Osaka facing off against legions of assassins, old friends turned foe and a new big bad named The Marquis (Bill Skarsgård). But Wick, being Wick, leaves a trail of bodies and destroyed property in his wake.


The legend that is Keanu Reeves effortlessly slips back into the blood-soaked designer suit of Wick, managing to convey more with a glance or a nod than most actors can do with a monologue. New addition Skarsgård leaves a chilling impression as Wick’s latest nemesis, bringing a deranged penchant for violence and a hinted connection to Wick’s murky past.


Director Chad Stahelski, a veteran stunt coordinator, continues to top himself when it coms to staging the film’s slick action set pieces. It must be an art form in itself - these super-human assassins that don’t get hurt by bullets (until the story needs it) but somehow fight in such realistic and spectacular form is so fun to watch and so hard to achieve. The hand-to-hand combat scenes almost reach The Matrix levels of artistry in their choreography. And the addition of weapons like chained flails, katanas and nunchucks allow for inventive ways to maim and kill.


The only worry is Chapter 5. This has been announced as being in development and that fuels my fears again. Can we please avoid falling into the Marvel trope of bringing dead characters from the dead? Let’s just focus on other characters in the John Wick world, which there are plenty, and leave the first 4 chapters to stand as one of the greatest action films in recent memory.




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