John Wick 4 Wins the Crowd
BY EDUARDO DIAZ
Keanu Reeves as John Wick in the new film John Wick 4.
John Wick 4 is able to maintain the promise of an exciting action blockbuster with action sequences that keep evolving even after 3 entries of its trademark "gun- fu".
The franchise that started with a man killing dozens because of a dog comes back with an exciting fourth entry that plays on the best strengths of the past films. As in the previous films, action is essential in the franchise, with director Chad Stalhelski bringing his a-game to the forefront.
To make sure the sequences feel new and exciting, the movie is able to take full advantage of the international settings where it takes place.The settings allow the sequences to be filmed with a particular visual style. Each fight makes the characters feel like they are introduced into a new sandbox full of dangers and opportunities.
Said approach to the action and sequences of the film leads to impressive visuals where the movie can play greatly with things like color and camera angles.
The action also has particular moments that make it feel real. None of the kills feel like they weren't earned, with a decent amount of thugs landing some hits on our protagonist. It reminiscent of the Netflix Daredevil action sequences, as you feel each fight takes a toll on Wick.
That being said, there is a good balance between making John Wick not feel invincible and keeping his reputation as the baba yaga of the underworld. This approach to making the characters feel vulnerable works wonders alongside the stunts within the film, setting it apart from other blockbusters.
The stunts in this movie once again prove that the fact that there isn't a stunts category at the Oscars is a total disservice to some of the best technical aspects in a film if pulled off correctly. Comedy is also a strong point of the film. By taking advantage of the genre and instead of focusing on verbal jokes, it focuses on slapstick comedy.
Due to the mentioned slapstick characteristic and a level of restraint on not overdoing the jokes, the film can blend the comedy perfectly with the rest. The film's performances also go a long way in keeping the audience invested during its 3-hour runtime.
Keanu Reeves, as always, is great. You realize how good the performance is when he says "yeah" for the fifth time, and it still feels different from the other 4. Keanu also sells those brief emotional moments, reminding us that behind all the gun extravaganza, these movies are about human interaction and connection.
The main supporting cast is also heavily focused on that theme of connection. With some, although appearing just a few minutes, being able to shine. Donnie Yen is a crucial part of this, and not only is he the strongest addition to the cast of the films, but he might be the saga's best one yet.
Bill Skarsgård also keeps you on the edge of your seat as the unpredictable mastermind antagonist. The strategist element he brings to the film helps set a new challenge for John Wick, as it is more complex than crossing the name of a list.
By being a complicated problem for the protagonist to resolve, it also helps keep the threat of the high table throughout the film. The film's ending is highly effective at tying the storylines from the previous trilogy. And, with no fifth entry currently announced, it can serve as a satisfying ending to the franchise.
That being said, the movie does have a surprise for the audience during the credits that might lead us to the new spin-offs within the universe.
Overall, the film is an excellent entry into the franchise and can justify its existence through every frame in the movie. I haven't enjoyed an action movie as much as this one since the last Mission Impossible in 2018. It is a definite must-watch for the stunts alone, and I would give this film a 4.5 out 5.