Almost a decade in the past, we had been launched to the heavy on motion, mild on dialogue title that’s John Wick. On paper the Wick collection reads like every paint by quantity, straight to video motion franchise. What has set it aside has been Keanu Reeves’ capability to decide to stunts, gun work, combat scenes, and director Chad Stahelski’s expertise for retaining motion sequences recent.
Through the years the Wick collection has pushed and developed in its on-screen fight. The story has been fairly simple . The primary character is an ex murderer, pulled right into a conflict with a criminal offense household by way of the reminiscence of his spouse and her kidnapped canine, which was all he had left to recollect her. It was an odd however memorable catalyst and sufficient to launch us into the deeper story, involving the assassins guild and their chain of worldwide sanctuary resorts.
The Continental Resort facet tales and its staff are a beautiful respite within the nonstop motion of the Wick franchise. They create a wealthy backstory to delve into that counters the grim brutality of the nonstop headshots and muzzle flashes, Keanu Reeves provides us in each combat scene. It has been a profitable components that has carried us into 4 movies and an inevitable television collection spinoff.
That recipe nevertheless, can solely take an viewers to date earlier than the novelty wears out. Director and stunt savant, Chad Stahelski has labored exhausting to maintain John Wick recent, however in every iteration there’s solely so some ways to kill individuals throughout 120 minutes of nonstop motion sequences.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is a fully unbelievable 90 minute film. Sadly for viewers, the overall operating time is 169 minutes. It picks up instantly the place John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum left off. Our title character is being hunted by the “desk” aka the assassins guild and those that management them. He’s on the run after having been betrayed by Winston, the supervisor of the Continental (all the time performed splendidly by Ian McShane).
The movie tries to maintain itself thrilling, with new attractive locales and totally different combat sequences however for viewers, that is the place all the first half falls flat. The lighting and cinematography are actually placed on show for the Osaka and Berlin segments, however the scenes as an entire are completely pointless to the story. Everybody reveals up with grey, kevlar fits and falls into the identical entrance and deathly exit again and again. It’s monotonous and instantly fatiguing. There are occasions it feels (and sure is) that the identical stuntmen are combating and dying in several outfits / disguises. The lone breath of recent air is Donnie Yen who’s launched as Caine, the blind swordsman. He walks throughout water in each scene and is an immaculate fighter who brings pleasure and style to his sequences. He frequently saves the film each time it will get stale.
As we slog by way of Osaka after which Berlin, we watch Keanu ship 6 phrases of complete dialogue as if he’s recovering from a stroke after which bounce into gunfire. Reeves has by no means been an amazing actor and these movies play into his sturdy silent persona effectively, however it is a bit a lot. He’s talking much less and fewer with every installment and struggling to get out his two or three phrases. It’s virtually painful when he speaks, particularly when everybody else delivers their strains usually.
I’m unsure if he’s had head trauma from stunts gone improper or if that is by selection, however Keanu’s talking cadence has gotten slower and stranger because the collection has progressed. Additionally, let me iterate that he’s nonetheless an important star with palpable display screen presence, however the man is now 58 years outdated. How a lot hand at hand fight can we watch him do in lengthy (single take) stretches with believability? There’s a whole phase on the primary third of the movie devoted to nunchakus. There are many weapons accessible however to alter issues up, John Wick has to combat solely with nunchakus or hand at hand.
Once more, I feel it’s admirable to try to hold it fascinating however the youthful, beefier stuntmen had been visibly slowing down in these segments, ready for his or her moments to combat John Wick. It took believability off the desk and far of the hand at hand combat scenes had been too comparable and sloppy. Keanu is a bit slower than he was a decade in the past and the seen pauses between strikes and grappling together with his stunt group had been too apparent in choreography.
Then we get to Paris.
The film ought to have began and ended right here. The second John Wick arrives in Paris for his impending boss battle, the film hits overdrive and by no means seems again. This a part of the movie is definitely definitely worth the value of admission and can have your jaw on the theater ground. The Parisian segments carry the innovation and enjoyable of the combat scenes that we’ve come to know and love from the franchise.
The Arc de Triomphe automobile chase, combat melee and 222 stairs resulting in the Sacre Coeur are sufficient to hold any hat on for all 4 movies. These scenes are profession making (dare I say legendary?), iconic in scope, and one thing different motion movies ought to aspire to. The stunt work is insane, the scenes are lengthy, advanced, excessive, various, and it’s traditional John Wick chaos to its core. Vehicles, Weapons, Swords, Falls, Flames, it’s every thing we needed and hoped for.
John Wick: Chapter 4 additionally provides us another characters price mentioning. Invoice Skarsgard because the Marquis is an honest sufficient dangerous man, who must work on his French accent. We get just a few enjoyable moments from Laurence Fishburne (however not practically sufficient), and a small style of Hiroyuki Sanada and his swordplay. Donnie Yen and Keanu collectively on display screen are unbelievable in each means. Their shared scenes are enjoyable, and supply nice levity to the extreme combating segments they’re featured in. We get loads of moments between them to cement their chemistry and actually carry the ending house in a satisfying means.
Go see John Wick: Chapter 4, whereas in theaters as you’ll need massive display screen for each sound and motion. Simply don’t be mad at your self should you go to sleep within the first half or present up late.