Movie Reviews: John Wick: Chapter 4

The challenge for any franchise like the incredibly action-packed John Wick series is that they must top themselves for each new installment. Considering the fantastic action and special effects in the previous 3 movies(especially the last one), making installment #4 even more amazing had to seem close to impossible to pull off. Due to several new ideas (even including overhead action scenes inside of a building), this 4th movie does surpass the last one. As far as the story, that has never mattered for any of the John Wick movies. Like all of these films, you have to suspend any thought process or common sense because of what happens to John Wick this time around, he should have died about 100 times in this film. To list just some of the injuries Wick endures this time around:

Wick is hit by a car no less than 4 times. He falls from 4 to 5 balconies and lands on the ground or on a car, another 4 times. Wick is shot several times, especially at the end, during a final duel to the death. Wick falls down about 11 flights of stairs about 3 times and never breaks a bone. Wick is shot at probably 1000 times during these 2 hours and 49 minutes (this film does not seem nearly this long), but due to his suit, which is made of advanced body armor – the times he is shot to his body do not injure him. The problem is that the over-the-top dumb logic does not consider that Wick would have to be shot in the head at some point, killing him instantly, but this never happens despite him being vastly outnumbered in almost all the action scenes. Of course, we all realize that this is part of the insanity of this movie franchise, but I do not believe that many of the action scenes have to be this completely crazy. Most of the action should meet somewhere in the middle between crazy off the wall, and trying to follow at least some of the laws of physics and human physiology. There is also a master martial arts character in this movie who has incredible skills, even though he is blind. Another too-way-over the top example.

The main characters in this film return again for the 4th movie, played by Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, and Ian McShane. Unfortunately, only a few days before the opening of this film, Lance Reddick who has appeared in all 4 movies, tragically died at only 60 – due to “natural causes” and his true cause of death has never been revealed.

For moviegoers who hate gratuitous violence, even those fans would have to appreciate the amount of work, planning, and rehearsal it takes to pull off some of the amazing effects in this movie. The design and planning of some of these amazing stunts must not only look believable but also have to make sure that nobody gets hurt or killed. The recent Alec Baldwin tragedy is a recent example of someone who was killed while making a movie. For some of the stunts, especially those showing Wick getting hit by a car and then slammed into another car, and falling down so many stairs – it is hard to believe that even the most experienced top stuntmen in the industry could pull off action scenes this impressive.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for John Wick 4 are a very high 95% and due to the impressive action scenes, just about the best for all 4 movies, I agree with this rating and give this movie an equally high recommendation.