Featured Image: Mel Lhuillier | Marlin Chronicle
“John Wick: Chapter 4,” directed by Chad Stahelski, is the latest entry in the “John Wick” franchise. The film is also the longest entry yet, clocking in at nearly three hours. However, this length will go unnoticed by the viewer, due to the film’s almost non-stop action throughout.
Keanu Reeves returns as the titular protagonist, who is once again trying to free himself from being hunted by the High Table. Reeves gives his best performance as the character to date, as the film sees Wick having to combat assassins, as well as grapple with what kind of life he wants to lead.
Leading the efforts to kill Wick are Bill Skarsgård’s Marquis Vincent de Gramont. Skarsgård’s Marquis is a memorable villain, thanks to Skarsgård’s strong performance as the character, showing him to be ruthless, egotistical and petulant.
“Chapter 4” delivers some of the best action sequences in the franchise so far. One particularly notable sequence features a continuous shot as Wick fights assassins in a building, while the camera follows him from above. Complementing the action scenes are the film’s international scope, as “Chapter 4” sees Wick visiting Japan, Berlin and Paris.
The film also features a strong supporting cast, which includes Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne returning as their characters, Winston Scott and the Bowery King, respectively. Both actors once again give strong performances. Lance Reddick also returns as Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel. This is one of Reddick’s final roles prior to his death, and he gives a strong performance as the fan-favorite character.
Joining the supporting cast are Donnie Yen, Shamier Anderson and Rina Sawayama. Donnie Yen gives a thoughtful performance as Caine, a formerly retired blind assassin sent after Wick, and the role makes great use of Yen’s martial arts expertise. Shamier Anderson’s performance as Mr. Nobody causes the viewer to root for him (and his dog) despite him joining in on the hunt for Wick. Rina Sawayama’s performance as Akira leaves a strong impression on the viewer despite only being in the film’s first act.
Overall, “John Wick: Chapter 4” is not only the best to come from the “John Wick” franchise thus far, but stands among the greatest in action films as a whole.
By Ryan Abraham