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John Wick: Chapter 4
      review by Bobby Blakey

Ever since John Wick exploded in theaters back in 2014 it not only kicked off the Keanusance, but an entire new bad ass franchise that had fans clamoring for more. In both 2017 and 2019 we got new chapters in John Wick Chapter 2 and John Wick Parabellum. The last entry left us waiting and the time is now with the aptly titled John Wick Chapter 4 co-starring Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada and martial arts action icons Donnie Yen, Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror. Could this latest entry keep the same level of action going or will it finally fail to hit the target?


John Wick: Chapter 4 follows John Wick who uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.


As this series has progressed it has really dug into the legend of Wick’s “Baba Yaga” persona making him almost unstoppable in the best ways possible. Sure there are numerous times and things that happen to him that we all know that there is no way he would have made it out, but that is what makes him John Wick. This latest entry somehow manages to crank it up even more to deliver another fast paced action spectacle of perfection from beginning to end.


The story bumps a little ahead from where the last one ended to see where Wick is before setting him loose on the world once again. It doesn’t spend a lot of time with the recovery from the previous outing and it doesn’t need to. There is a lot to get to and it uses every bit of it’s almost three hour run time to make it happen. Before you scoff at the 


longest run time in the franchise so far let me tell you it never feels that long or slows down. This is not only the best of the series, but might be one of the best action movies in years. I know it’s a big claim, but it brings everything to the table and destroys it all in the best possible way.

I loved every moment of this film with obviously the action being the highlight, but also the deeper lore into even more of the assassin world we have been exploring since 2014. Sure it is over the top at times and not plausible, but it embraces this world like it is the only thing that exists and I love it. It works to do a great job bringing all the story elements that we have been dealing with since Wick came out of retirement and bring it full circle in a barrage of bullets, broken bones and more assassins than you likely have ever seen in one film.


Reeves is in top form here executing every action beat with precision and intensity like we have come to expect from him. His subtle torment along with the ass kicking and limited dialogue plays deeper into who Wick is and why we love watching him. Reeves has become Wick and plays it to perfection on all fronts. The rest of the cast are perfection as well with my happiest being the proper use of talent such as Yen, Adkins and Zaror. Yen’s Caine has depth that I unexpected in the best way possible and makes you not only care about him, but want to hear his story as well.


This is a John Wick film, but everyone gets to shine in the action department with Yen bringing what he does to the forefront in all its bad ass glory. His character is blind and the attention to detail to the way he fights and adapts is as impressive as his fighting abilities making it a believable character that I would certainly like to see more of. Marko Zaror gets to shine as well in a role that could have been a throw away henchman part, but thanks to knowing how to play to his strengths he is a power presence and gets to bring his martial arts action mastery to numerous memorable altercations.


As a massive fan of Scott Adkins I admit I was worried when I saw his poster as Killa in a full on fat suit. Was this one of those casting moments where they throw him in for people like me or do they take advantage of his abilities? His character is fun to watch and has a great set and dialogue exchange that looked like might be all we were going to get, but then it cuts loose and we get the Adkins we all love. He shows no signs of that additional weight his character carries of slowing him down and delivers some great action and everything I wanted from him in a new different way. He showed up to play and they gave him the field to cut loose.


The same can be said for the always great Hiroyuki Sanada who brings his usual powerful presence to the table, but also gets to showcase his sword skills and dominates every scene he is in. Through it all this is a Wick movie so we are on his journey and all these other players are just in the way good or bad. They smartly played it well to give them all time to shine, but not overshadow the main direction of the story. There is a lot to tell here and a lot of people to kill and this film utilizes its long run time to make sure they give it all purpose.


In the end this is the best film in the franchise and serves as the perfect ending of it all. There has been talk of a John Wick 5 and of course I would love it, but also fine with it ending right here. This is everything fans want and tells everything that it wants to tell without getting bogged down by the characters and action. It is perfectly balanced and a work of art.


Stay through the credits for an after credit scene that could be offering a glimpse into the future or just a cap to something earlier in the film to make it all finite. I hope it’s more, but either way this martial arts action films is happy and cannot wait to go on Wick’s journey numerous times for years to come.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including numerous featurettes showcasing how they brought this latest chapter of the action franchise to life. Grab your copy of John Wick: Chapter 4 available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on June 13th from Lionsgate.

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