John Wick 4 is now streaming so I finally got to see it. Wrenage did a review a while back on theatrical release, but here’s my take on it.
I’m not usually one for franchise movies, they tend to slog on and get watered down or end up like Fast & Furious with cars in space. I have liked the John Wick movies though, they are decent. The action has been getting better and better, the takes longer, with all the actors doing their own stunts.
However, it’s the story that’s been suffering. I’m in two minds about it. It’s all getting a bit much now. In Chapter 4, there is a new Marquis of the high table who’s out to kill John and bring down Winston, the manager of the New York Continental Hotel. For John to gain his life back, he will need to kill the Marquis. This isn’t easy, obviously, so John needs to get help and heads to meet an old friend who runs the Osaka Continental Hotel with his daughter. The Marquis sends in his troops and all hell breaks loose.
John learns that he can challenge the Marquis to a duel. I kind of like this, but at the same time, it’s kind of stupid. The honor among thieves-style hook is effective, but it just seems to me that they make stuff up as they go along sometimes now. There is more going on in Chapter 4 though. An old friend of John’s, Caine played by Donnie Yen, is chosen to be the Marquis’ representative, so the duel will come down to those two. Oh, and Caine is blind.
I don’t know what Hollywood has against Donnie Yen seeing in movies, see Rogue One, but having him blind was just not needed. It is not spoiling anything to tell you the end duel is with pistols. How the hell is a blind man supposed to do that?
There is another guy, Mr Nobody, who is waiting for the right price to kill John. This character is well done and has a pretty decent arc to his story. The rest of the cast are all good and the story is engaging enough. This is a 3-hour movie but, for once, it didn’t feel like a 3-hour movie. There is enough in there to keep you following the story and you don’t get too lost. On the flipside, there is a lot that could have been trimmed out and you wouldn’t have missed it. If you saw the trailer, you know there’s a stairwell shoot-out, and this did drag on after a while. The whole thing is cool but just too long.
The set pieces and photography are excellent though. I was very impressed with some of the action sequences. Towards the end, there’s a shoot-out around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris which is a highlight.
In a nutshell, if you liked the other 3 John Wick movies, you will like this. It’s more intense but doesn’t go too over the top. The action is spot on and fights are brutal, as you would expect. The story is engaging, even with the length and it being a third sequel.
The whole ‘bullet-proof suit’ is getting a little tiresome. We know kevlar will stop a bullet, but in these movies, it’s just becoming an excuse to make John pretty much invincible. It becomes a bit of joke after a while. John gets hit with 50 bullets, but a stunt guy gets taken out by 2. On a side note, one of my favorite lines in the movie is:
When you see the movie, you will see why. We know there is a spin-off on its way, the Ballerina with Ana de Armas, but honestly, John Wick needs to think about settling down now and starting a small dog animal rescue centre. Again, not to spoil things, but the end of the movie seems to show that things have finished, but then, they did the same thing at the end of Chapter 3.
There is an after-credit scene which I thought was stupid, to be honest. Is it going to turn into another spin-off? This is a good John Wick movie, a decent enough story, great action, and photography and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
John Wick Chapter 4 is now streaming online.
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