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After somehow surviving the events of the last movie, John Wick: Chapter 4 kicks off with the man, the myth, the legend himself, John Wick, starting his war on the High Table, in exchange for his freedom. In response to this, the Table dispatches a new player to deal permanently with their Boogeyman problem.
The Marquis Vincent de Gramont is one character I’m sure everyone hated the minute he came on screen. Brilliantly depicted by Bill Skarsgard, the Marquis makes a strong first impression by blowing up the New York continental as punishment for those who failed to kill Mr. Wick. This act kicks off the movie’s central theme of rules and consequences. As while killing Mr. Wick has proven difficult, John’s few remaining friends aren’t so invincible.
To no one’s surprise, John Wick Chapter 4 features some of the best action scenes put to film, laced with just enough humor. But what elevated the film was how it excels at introducing new characters while exploring the criminal underworld.
We see this through characters like the Harbinger(Clancy Brown), who represents The Table and is there to dictate their law. And through characters like German Mafia boss Killa (Scott Adkins), the movie reintroduces us to the dirty politics of the criminal families under the table. Killa was a pleasant surprise, and his German club fight is a personal favorite. At first, I thought he was another deadbeat boss, but when he started smacking the legendary Baba Yaga around, I knew we were in for a treat.
But one of the best character introductions in the movie was Caine (Donnie Yen). From the moment he’s introduced, Mr. Yen slips into the character of Caine and captures the stereotypical blind but very dangerous assassin. In terms of action, Caine killed it and the movie uses his unique fitting style to create several memorable moments. Story-wise, I loved how the film kept his motivations simple but still layered: “Serve the high table and keep your daughter safe.” However, this creates an inner conflict for Caine, as he’s forced to fight both his close friend John and kill mutual friends who insist on helping Mr. Wick escape the table’s justice.
Besides Caine, The Marquis hires several other Bounty hunters to hunt Mr. Wick, one of whom is Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson) and his ferocious emotional support dog. But of course, Neither Caine nor the many bounty hunters were enough to stop John Wick from achieving his goal.
John Wick Chapter 4 felt like a triple-A Video game, as Mr. Wick mercilessly mows down dozens of assassins, bodyguards, and bounty hunters while stealing their weapons to improve his advantage.
One of the best sequences of the entire film was the Paris traffic scene, where John faces wave after wave of assassins amid live traffic. Everything from John tossing his enemies into incoming cars, to him having multiple gun and knife fights while dogging incoming traffic made this part of the movie entertaining. I also loved the insane top-down action scene that sees John blasting through walls and enemies with an explosive shotgun. These outstanding action sequences really emphasized how much effort the film’s director (Chad Stahelski) put into creating this fantastic action thriller.
However, it’s also around this part of the movie that the biggest flaw of John Wick: Chapter 4 becomes obvious.
As much as I enjoyed John Wick 4, the plot armor it gives John is ridiculous. I mean there’s no way John survives several car hits, jumping from a story building, and then fighting many heavily armed henchmen without a scratch. I mean at one point, everyone in my theatre just agreed that John Wick must have superhuman durability. In my opinion, all the expert criminals and assassins in the John Wick universe need to retire, because they suck at their job. Over 300 people fighting against one man and not a single one could injure John in any meaningful way. That’s just sad.
But despite its issues, Chapter 4 still has a deeply satisfying ending that brings everything nicely together. They say pride comes before a fall and the Marqui gets his fall when he underestimates John’s cunning (and his plot armor).
One saying that keeps coming up thought out the movie is “Those who cling on to death, live. Those who cling on to life, die.”
I found the saying fitting, as since the first movie John has been on multiple suicide missions and somehow he survived long enough to finish his mission. Meanwhile, all his foes, from Virgo to Martin, the elder, and now the Marquis, have all tried to protect themselves with their near infinite money, influence, and men, and yet somehow all of these people end up very dead.
John Wick: Chapter 4
Movie title: John Wick: Chapter 4
John Wick Chapter: 4 is a very entertaining action thriller, with excellent actors, great fight scenes, and a very good conclusion. Just like the previous films, I enjoyed how the movie slowly unveils more of the traditions of the continental criminal world. But similar to parts 2 and 3, John Wick 4 also struggles to give its protagonist a realistic way of surviving the impossible odds in which he finds himself.
P.S: I’m just happy John’s story is now over. Hopefully, the franchise can now focus more on its rich cast of side characters (especially after that after scene credit).
User Review( votes)
- Amazing Action & Fight Scenes
- Great Characters
- Further Expansion into the Continental Criminal Underworld
- Decent Story
- Excessive Protagonist Plot Armour