The John Wick series is one of the biggest and best action franchises in Hollywood. I loved the first film and thought the sequels were solid follow ups that built on the world and expanded the lore. The fourth John Wick film is one of the most hyped movies of the year. Critics and audiences are loving it, and this is reflected in the box office. Nevertheless, I went into this film worried it would just repeat the previous Wick movies. So, did this movie use its 2hr 50min run time successfully or was it a recycle of its predecessors?
I think everyone going into John Wick 4 has an expectation when it comes to the action. The one takes, close combat and headshots are all staples of this franchise. Forget all that because John Wick 4 completely reinvents the wheel. The locations, camera angles and stunts are phenomenal and some of the best action of the last 10 years. This film builds up each sequence perfectly and even when you think it’s done, they level it up. I just have so much respect for the stunt coordinators and stunt doubles who keep improving on every film.
Now with every action movie, there comes the scenes in between the set pieces that can sometimes just be fillers. With John Wick 4, it wasn’t awful, but I did find myself getting a little bored. Characters seem to repeat what’s at stake and constantly saying poetic or “badass” lines just to sound cool. When the run time is almost 3 hours, I think a lot of the scenes could just be cut down by a few minutes. Honestly, I would have loved if the first 20mintues were all exposition and character building and then the next 2 hours were straight non-stop action (maybe that’s just me).
The world that Chad Stahelski (Director) and Jonathan Stela (DOP) have created is beautiful. Every shot has this specific style and feel that accentuates the gothic underworld of John Wick. Even though the lighting is over the top and exaggerated it feels natural for these characters. It’s so refreshing to see blockbusters that are doing engaging things with the shooting that isn’t just a grey scale colour grade (MCU).
For the first 30minutes of John Wick 4, I was thrown off by the actors. What I mean by that is that they are all giving such exaggerated performances that it surprised me. Eventually, I settled into them because I realised this was all on purpose. Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen and Lawrence Fishburn are trying to be over the top because they know that it fits the genre. In addition, Bill Skarsgard and Scott Adkins were amazing in this film. They perfectly embodied these sinister characters and were extremely entertaining to watch on screen.
The ending of John Wick 4 felt a little unsatisfying. It felt like the whole film was building to something big and surprising, but nothing ever really changed. The duel between Donnie Yen and Keanu Reeves was not entertaining and a disappointing way to wrap up the film. I would have loved if it was an actual fight sequence between Bill Skarsgard and Keanu Reeves. Personally, it would have been a massive twist if he was this incredible fighter who was actually on the same level as Wick.
SHOULD YOU SEE THIS FILM?
Absolutely. John Wick 4 will be remembered as one of the best action movies of all time and is definitely worth seeing on the biggest screen possible. While it drags in parts, the action is truly incredible and the film looks beautiful.