What movie has the most people killed in it? Is it “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Star Wars: A new Hope” (they killed a hole planet there), or “Avengers: Infinity War” and Thanos’ ability to kill half of every population where he goes? This question really crossed my mind while watching John Wick: Chapter Four, and as high as it’s body count is, it’s actually not even close to the record watching the following film I am about to review, I was having that thought, so I decided to research where the John Wick series would rank, and body count as high as it is, is not even close. (In my research, there are a number of different films claiming this title, so it’s going to take some time to get a definitive winner here.)
Chad Stahelski continues to direct the films in his franchise (which is his brainchild) with Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick and Ian McShane as well as adding Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Clancy Brown, and Rina Sawayama. It’s not very long after the third film where Wick (Reeves) is hiding underground in New York as The High Table finds out he is still alive and keeps the bounty on his head active. Realizing that he will always be hunted, John learns of a way where he can earn his freedom, so he goes on a quest to take on The High Table’s newest Marquis (Skarsgård) along with new friends and foes to deal with.
Going into the film, I was worried (as I often am with sequels) of the Ice Age syndrome. On the basics, the acting is good with the returning pros in Reeves, Reddick, and of course McShane complimented by Yen, Anderson and Skarsgård who all add something special, with a special shout out to Yen’s great assassin mixed of comedy and Zen that really works within each scene he is in. Just like the other films in the series, there is great cinematography from great locations around the globe mixed with solid CGI work. I was able to screen this film in IMAX, and the sound editing alone did a great job adding to the emotion of the story, matching the past films.
John Wick: Chapter Four gave me the action that I wanted along with a high body count fueled by even more creative kills that had a great reaction from the audience I was a part of more than once. All of this being said, I am a bit conflicted. At two hours and forty-five minutes, this was the first in the series that really felt a little long. I understand why a bit, but there are still some scenes that could have been trimmed. The action also gets a bit outrageous; for example, there is a big fight scene at a famous historic landmark that really should have been about thirty seconds long. I understand why they did what they did there, but I wish they would have grounded it more in reality. I still enjoyed this film, so I will recommend it as a twilight showing in a premium format.