John Wick: Chapter 4 is an action film with Keanu Reeves reprising his role of John Wick, one of the most prolific retired assassins in cinematic lore. The script, such as it is, is written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. Chad Stahelski is in the director’s chair. Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Skarsgard, Donnie Yen, and the recently deceased Lance Reddick are included in the cast. This film and continues and probably concludes John Wick’s efforts to break free from the secret, deadly organization known as the High Table.
The High Table is still gunning for John Wick after his wife’s murder. Wick decides that he can only be free from this group if he puts down a leader known as Marquis de Gramont, played by Bill Skarsgard. He also has to dodge a hefty bounty on his head. Old friends, like Donnie Yen’s Caine, are also dispatched to take Wick off the board. Another anonymous tracker joins in the chase alongside an obedient, yet vicious canine. This whole thing is just insane with the number of bullets flying and bodies dropping.
In spite of occasional drifts into incoherence, I found myself enjoying the impossible spectacle. John Wick is a somewhat interesting character even though he says very little. My favorite supporting character is the blind, yet still deadly Caine. Caine is pretty reluctant to be pitted against his old friend, Wick, but ends up unleashing his lethal talents, nonetheless. It was also good to see Clancy Brown as someone called the Harbinger. The whole movie is completely absurd and makes little sense, but the performances help keep it strangely engaging. The over complicated fight scenes were hilarious and captivating. I found myself imagining the challenge of rehearsing all of those antics. The caliber of actors involved in this installment of the franchise was interesting.
The movie is a little long, and I did get a little worn out with the length of some of the action sequences. I understand that the producers wanted to make this an epic addition to the franchise, but films of this genre have a tendency to risk the wavering of an audience’s attention the closer the run time gets to the three-hour mark.
In spite of the relentless violence and absurd plot, one can still have a good time with this in the right frame of mind and is part of a particular fanbase.