John Wick: Chapter 4 Review | Franchise’s Best Film Has Baba Yaga in Beast Mode

While the first three movies in the John Wick franchise showed the unending run of the title character, the latest addition to the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 4, has a very personal angle. While the other movies were more focused on the action and the emotions got conveyed in the backdrop, here, the balance is almost equal. And hence the duration is really long, but the impact is much more profound as you get an up-close look at the character. With Chad Stahelski making sure that action enthusiasts will get their share of entertainment in the latter half of the film, John Wick: Chapter 4 is easily the best film in this action franchise.

After being shot by Winston and taken away by the men of Bowery King, John decided to go against the elder one and killed him. And that creates many problems, and the High Table decides to go against Winston for his inefficiency in neutralizing Wick. With the High Table representative, Marquis Vincent de Gramont, plotting against him and all his trusted resources, the options to be a free man got limited for John Wick. How he tackles, this situation is what we witness in Chapter 4.

The other three installments have made the world and its procedures very familiar for all of us, and Chad Stahelski knows that a mere repetition with a bigger set of villains won’t work this time. Instead of considering the franchise as a money-minting machine, the writers are inclined towards giving it some shape with a lot of emotional grounding. The new characters introduced in Chapter 4 has a connection with Wick’s past, and a good chunk of the 169 minutes is invested in giving us a picture of the drama that is happening. In the initial phases, I almost feared that Stahelski had opted for a more internalized version, and we won’t be seeing any set pieces that would stay with us. But the last hour of the movie is absolute carnage, and Stahelski yet again raises the bar in action choreography.

John Wick is pretty much the gold standard for action movies, and people expect the makers to come up with spectacularly choreographed action sequences. As I already said, in the initial areas, the emphasis is more on making it a bit more intimate and emotional. The fight choreography is pretty basic in terms of John Wick’s standards. But the set piece that eventually leads to the death of Killa, the German Table head, gets the ball rolling. What you witness after that is top-notch execution of crazy yet believable imagination. The cinematography by Dan Laustsen uses neon lights extensively to give an identity to each set piece. The cuts respected the effort of the stuntmen. They ensured the viewer got to experience the impact of the gunshots, punches, and stabs. That top-angle gunshot set piece and the final staircase fight were just outstanding examples of execution with precision. I loved how the signature dog sentiment was placed in this movie.

In his fourth outing as John Wick, Keanu Reeves is a bit stiffer, and he gives the audience an idea that Wick had had enough of this running. In the body language, one can sense that exhaustion. Bill Skarsgård, as Marquis Vincent de Gramont, plays the film’s main antagonist. Even though he has no fight sequences in the movie, the actor manages to pull off the arrogance Winston mentions in the end. Donnie Yen, as the blind assassin Caine had swagger and composure. Hiroyuki Sanada appears in the film as the manager of the Osaka Continental. Lawrence Fishbourne and Ian McShane reprise their roles along with Lance Reddick, who left us a few days ago. A special shout out to Scott Adkins, who was terrific as Killa. Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson, etc., are the other major names in the star cast.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is easily the best in the franchise. The depth it achieves on a story level and the action spectacle it offers the viewer through uniquely choreographed set pieces are bigger and better. If you are a fan of fistfights and bloodshed, this true-blue action package from Chad Stahelski is a treat.

Final Thoughts

With Chad Stahelski making sure that action enthusiasts will get their share of entertainment in the latter half of the film, John Wick: Chapter 4 is easily the best film in this action franchise.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.