John Wick Chapter 4 Explained
Dear Mr. Wick, welcome back. With “John Wick Chapter 4,” which was intended to be released almost two years ago, director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves have made a comeback to the big screen four years after “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.” Believe me. The wait was worthwhile. The closing hour of this film ranks among the greatest in its genre because of Stahelski’s distillation of the mythology-heavy approach of the past few chapters with the focused action of the first movie.
At the beginning of “John Wick Chapter 4,” Reeves’ titular character finds himself once more on the run from the High Table, the evil Powers That Be. The Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgrd), the head of the High Table, is the major antagonist of the series. He continually raises the price on Wick’s head while also clearing up the problems left behind, including maybe eradicating Winston Scott (Ian McShane) and his involvement with this evil group. Wick travels to Japan in the opening moments, where he meets Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of the Osaka Continental, and runs into Caine, a blind assassin from the High Table (the badass Donnie Yen).
Shamier Anderson portrays an assassin who appears to be waiting for the price on Wick’s head to reach the proper amount for him to receive his reward, while Laurence Fishburne occasionally makes an appearance as Wick’s Q when the murderer needs a new bulletproof outfit. Despite the film’s epic length (169 minutes), the storyline is more tightly concentrated in this one than in the previous two movies. Introducing John Wick. These are the villains. Go!
And they proceed. Action scenes created by Stahelski and his crew have a paradoxical sense of urgency and artful choreography. Filmmakers who overthink their shootouts sometimes choose a tone that feels remote, devoid of stakes, and more fashionable than compelling. The best action filmmakers are able to capture conflict without sacrificing suspense for spectacle. The action scenes in “John Wick: Chapter 4” are drawn-out gunfights between John and several opponents who misjudge him, although they go along quickly enough to avoid becoming tedious.
Also, the stakes are very well established. John and an adversary decide on the timing, resources, and other details of combat at one point in the movie. But, this is really true of all the key action moments, when we are extremely clear on what John must accomplish and who he must interact with in order to “complete the level.” Objectives can be simple while still allowing for intricate choreography.
We are aware of what must take place for John to continue moving forward as he has done from the start of the first movie. The “Wick” flicks have such wonderful clarity of goal that they can then have fun inside those simple constructions. So much contemporary action is crowded with people or confusing objectives.
Here, the action’s choreography may be very magnificent. I adored how often events go place around Wick and his hapless adversaries. Wick has to fight a makeup-covered Scott Adkins and his army of unfortunate fools in a packed nightclub, in a scene that would rank as the finest in virtually any other recent action film (but is more like third or fourth here). The dancers are oblivious to it. They occasionally split a little to allow them to pass, but they don’t pause and look at them. The writing and dancing people provide such a creative visual backdrop as water pours into the room.
The only chink in Wick’s otherwise flawless armor is a little amount of narrative self-indulgence. I do believe there is a somewhat shorter (if you can say 150 minutes would be tight) version of this movie that is just great since there are a few situations, especially early on when it feels like a beat is going on a bit too long.
Fans won’t give a damn. In the post-pandemic, streaming-heavy era, much has been said about what draws people to the movies, and this is a film that deserves to be watched with a loud, enthusiastic audience. It exudes the infectious energy we enjoy in action movies, with a large audience gasping in awe at the creativity and intensity of what’s happening in front of them.
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