John Wick: Chapter 4 Shoots and Shoots and Shoots Some More

The Stream: Why is this movie almost 3 hours long?

The Big Screen: Elaborate action sequences in beautifully shot in special locations

The Final Bill: Even though the movie is too long, it is chock full of great John Wick moments.

– Trip Fontaine
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Shay Hatten and Michael Finch
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Bill Skarsgård, Donnie Yen, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Lance Reddick
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Rating: R for pervasive strong violence and some language
Production Companies: 87Eleven Entertainment, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate, Thunder Road Pictures
Platform: In theaters March 24, 2023
Notable Trailers:

Welcome back, Streamers! As has been highly-anticipated, our favorite dog-loving, retired hitman is back in action this weekend. Yes, John Wick resumes his quest to be free from the tyranny of the High Table and all of its bureaucratic, bloody nonsense while continuing to grieve the deaths of his beloved wife and his adorable pup from Chapter 1. These John Wick movies usually have great fight sequences, good visuals and pulsing soundtracks – that’s why we keep coming back, so let’s see whether Chapter 4 delivers.

Do I really need to explain the plot of John Wick: Chapter 4?  It is very much a continuation of what has come before. Keanu Reeves returns as assassin-extraordinaire, John Wick. Wick runs afoul to the High Table once again, which puts him back on their radar. The High Table holds Winston (Ian McShane) accountable for John Wick’s actions and puts another bounty on Wick’s head.  John Wick goes from location to location and from elaborate action sequence to even more elaborate action sequence for more than 2 and a half hours to avoid death and gain freedom. Gun-toting hijinks ensue.

First, John Wick: Chapter 4 is too long. There is no reason for this movie to be almost 3 hours long. The plot is not that intricate. In fact, it is basically the same as all of the other movies, except the first one, which was really driven by the grief and revenge of the John Wick. Two hours definitely would have gotten the job done. Even though the action sequences are entertaining, they can get overlong and become very exhausting. I can’t imagine being Keanu running from place to place, fighting, shooting and falling all over the place. Bless his heart. No wonder he sounds so out of breath.

What you really came to John Wick: Chapter 4 for is what it delivers in spades: exquisitely elaborate action set pieces. The movie takes place all over the world, and each location looks beautiful and interesting. There is such ornate and complicated set design, and you know it’s especially fragile so it can get destroyed with all of the shooting and fighting. And, these sets do, indeed, get destroyed. There a multiple shoot outs that take 20 minutes, or more, each. It can get fatiguing because once you’ve seen one shoot out then you’ve seen them all, but John Wick: Chapter 4 shows that not all elaborate shoot outs are alike. Thankfully, this movie has a good sense of humor as well.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Ultimately, John Wick: Chapter 4 delivers the action, dry humor, beautiful shots and elaborate set pieces that we have come to expect from this franchise. Keanu Reeves shows up and puts himself through it. While the story is basically the same as all of the other John Wick movies, it is still as entertaining as ever with clever stunts and even some good musical moments. I’d say it’s totally worth a trip to theater with a big box of popcorn.