Film review: John Wick – Chapter 4

The boogeyman has returned to our screens with Keanu Reeves once again donning the bullet proof suit to take it to the high table and attempt to end their control of him once and for all.


The John Wick series have gone from strength to strength since the first one was released in 2014. The set pieces have gotten more and more elaborate and the stunts and commitments from the actors have given this film franchise the grittiness and realism that is refreshing to see.

The new (near three hour film) follows directly on from the third whereby John played by the seemingly un-ageing Keanu Reeves – is trying to win his freedom from the mysterious ‘High Table’ whom control all the worlds assassins. In order to do this John must go up against their new chief Marquis Vincent de Gramont played by Bill Skarsgård.

The main cast are back but with some new additions – most notably in the form of Donnie Yen who plays Caine, a blind assassin with some serious skills. Donnie has been doing martial arts folks for years with notable films such as IP Man. To have him on board is a major positive and again routed back to the realism in the movie. When there are people who know the skills and really are doing it then the whole film feels much more grounded. This film also marks the last appearance by Lawrence Reddick who plays the concierge Charon, as he sadly passed away earlier this month.

If Top Gun: Maverick won favours for its use of real footage, I would say that John Wick 4 deserves to be looked on in similar ways. The realism in this film is very impressive regarding the fight scenes and choreography. I have not seen many films that have managed to capture the brutality and sheer effort that this film portrays (except maybe The Raid films). Every fight scene (of which there are many), is exhausting… not in that they go on too long but you can sense the characters getting fatigued and struggling. I can’t count the amount of times I was astounded as to what I was seeing. It brings back memories of the Netflix Daredevil series with its attention to detail and the characters faltering visibly.


One of the highlights was what seems to be a one shot aerial fight scene that looks down on the characters in a top down view. This was an entirely new perspective that I haven’t seen in a scene like this before – it opens up the cinematography to give us the viewer the ability to view scenarios before they come. The realism can’t come more hard hitting than in one scene in Paris, Wick is climbing to the top of the famous Sacré Coeur, in Paris, France which is 220 steps. Near the top he is pushed down nearly all the way and this was all genuine footage, his stunt double did the whole thing in only two takes, rolling down about 65% of the way. It is this level of commitment that sets this film apart from recent attempts.

There are some aspects as too where I see it getting a bit out of hand, like the amount of times John falls down some very large drops onto his back or is thrown into moving cars. He does visibly get wounded and injured but there is surely a limit to his bones tensile strength?

The film was a great watch, and it was only spoiled slightly by the fact I had a migraine throughout which did not aid my experience. The film at near three hours was a something I did not know about and you can certainly feel the length. It’s not like it drags on, but there is just so much content that they are cramming in. It just takes a long time for anything to happen as there is always a fight in the way. This is perhaps the biggest drawback for this film, however, I will certainly watch it again when I am healthier.

The cinematography, music and overall performance of the actors sets this film and indeed the series apart. Luckily we will be getting more action from this franchise as there are a couple of spin offs in the works. A TV show and also a film with Ana De Armas taking the lead. So it won’t be long before our hearts are racing again. These three hours are worth it so make sure you see this film on the biggest screen you can!






Author: Tom, Bath Store