Rob Reviews "John Wick: Chapter 4"
What more do I need to say here than that? This name has been synonymous with action and pop culture for almost a decade now with each film upping the intensity and stakes from the one before it. Each time one of these films is released, I think to myself “where do we go from here,” and then this franchise shows me in a trend that continues with John Wick: Chapter Four.
This time around, Wick (Keanu Reeves) still finds himself on a quest to clear his name and be freed from being hunted by a global network of assassins connected to the powerful group known as The Table. Upon the discovery of a law within its long and storied history that can get him the solace he so desires, he must not only journey deep within his past transgressions and those he has faced throughout these films but also a new Marquis (Bill Skarsgård) that is more ruthless and unpredictable than one he has dealt with before.
From the opening scene, my heart rate was off to the races here. We got to screen John Wick: Chapter Four in an IMAX theater, and the look, feel, and sound of this film was that much more intense to the point where I wondered if the subwoofers in the theater needed a cigarette when it was all said and done. Speaking of “all said and done,” be aware that this film is the better part of three hours long with pacing that varies as the story deepens. For about the first third of this film, I was wondering if it would have been better served as a two-part story, but as the late second and early third act were presented, I understood more why this story had to be all together. For John Wick: Chapter Four to deal with the multiple levels and subplots that it has and still stick the landing properly, this needs to be one long narrative so as not to break its own momentum.
Skarsgård really fits in well with the rest of this previously established cast as his character plays a very intricate and vindictive chess game with Reeves’ title character. Also joining the fray is Shamier Anderson in a breakout role (although he has been working for a while now that goes back to the SyFy series Wynona Earp) that I don’t want to go into too deeply to avoid spoilers and the legend that is Donnie Yen that creates a triangle of characters that are intertwined with John Wick throughout all the threads that are this story.
And the visuals… oh, the visuals. The action scenes in John Wick: Chapter Four keep rising the bar accompanied by Dan Lausten’s cinematography that is so slick and gritty at the same time that I cheered, cringed, and “whoo”ed all the way through this film. From fight scenes that take place in the most seemingly impossible of situations to properly film to camera angles that almost give a god-mode-like vantage point to the audience, I was glued to the screen for each and every frame of the action with enough breathing time between the sequences for the story to take over and give all of the proper motivation and depth to the characters that helps understand ALL of the stakes involved for Wick, The Table, and everyone in between.
Seeing John Wick: Chapter Four really made me look forward to a time where I can watch all of them in a marathon. Knowing that there are at least two other projects in the works that connect to these films, I am hopeful that this connected universe will keep us entertained for a number of years to come. GO SEE THIS FILM IN A THEATER!