John Wick: Chapter 4 is nearly as good as it’s lengthy. And it is lengthy


John Wick: Chapter 4

isn’t only a Keanu Reeves film. It’s all of them!

Take the scene in an underground membership in Berlin, which appears to be like to have been filmed in no matter set was used to create the large Zion rave/get together from

The Matrix Reloaded


Or take a look at the sequence that takes place on l’Étoile, that enormous site visitors circle that surrounds the Arc de Triomph in Paris. Fairly certain the bus from


is there, looping round and by no means allowed to drop under 50 mph. The twist on this film is that each different automobile on the roundabout has the identical restriction.

Or take a look at a few of Reeves’ strains, spoken with the cautious cadence he’s been perfecting since his early days as Theodore “Ted” Logan. “He was, a — good. Man!” Reeves doesn’t simply ship dialogue; he designs it first, sources the supplies, builds it himself after which chews it up earlier than spitting it out.

After all, the one fixed on this greatest-hits medley is the combating. Since you don’t go to a John Wick film for tea and biscuits. Ever because the first movie got here out in 2014, we’ve been watching Reeves’ character homicide his means by a seemingly infinite stream of Euro-baddies and their henchpeople.


John Wick 2

, he famously killed three guys with a pencil. In


, we watched him assemble a revolver simply in time to apply it to somebody. On this one, the signature scene might be the one through which the digicam cranes as much as a top-down shot of a dilapidated French chateau through which our man is squaring off in opposition to a small military, armed with a gun that spits hearth. It’s excessive bodily, metaphorically, cinematically and artillery-ally. Oh, and given the blood spilled, aortally.

The plot that results in this mayhem is about in movement by none aside from John Wick himself, who has been feuding with the heads of against the law syndicate referred to as the Excessive Desk, and who begins this chapter by killing The Elder, also called The Man Above the Excessive Desk. If anybody outranks him, it’s The Man Upstairs, who in all probability additionally shot that aforementioned top-down scene.

This assassination – I imply, what else do you anticipate assassins to do? – summons the Marquis Vincent de Gramont, performed by a snarling, surly Invoice Skarsgard. Unable to get to Wick immediately, he decides to strip his good good friend Winston (Ian McShane) of his place as supervisor of the Continental, a hotel-for-assassins so well-known it’s getting its personal steaming collection quickly. This additionally marks the top of the highway for his concierge, performed with chic grace by Lance Reddick, whose dying final week at age 60 has solid one thing of a pall over the movie’s launch.

The Marquis has a sure aptitude for the dramatic. He exhibits as much as inform Winston he has precisely one hour to evacuate the resort earlier than its destruction, then unveils an hourglass so comically giant it appears to be like like he stole it from the Depraved Witch of the West.

However he’s not one of the best supervisor of killers. The person he chooses to ship retribution is Caine (Donnie Yen), who’s (A) blind and (B) an outdated colleague of John’s, with a grudging respect for his code of conduct, honourable methods and sorry-where-was-I fashion of talking.

And the person whose assist he retains refusing is Tracker (Toronto actor Shamier Anderson), who calls himself Mr. No person and, wouldn’t you realize, additionally develops a grudging respect for his would-be prey. Though this may simply be a survival tactic – John Wick’s acquaintances are inclined to fall into two teams: the grudging and the lifeless.

It’s value noting that

John Wick 4

carries on the collection’ custom of ever-longer runtimes, clocking in at a whopping two hours and 49 minutes, the place the unique was a trim one hour 36. Simply think about the scale of chronometer you’d have to maintain observe of this one!

But it surely manages its pacing properly, and even finds methods to be unexpectedly understated, just like the scene the place Caine and Wick sq. off in a room stuffed with glass show circumstances, and handle NOT to interrupt each one throughout their battle. Although I’m not sure which of Reeves’ earlier motion pictures that attracts on – possibly the bit in

The Lake Home

the place they DON’T break one another’s hearts?

The movie succeeds mightily – no small feat for an “episode 4” that isn’t

Star Wars

– by advantage of leaning into its lunacy. There are some depraved stunts that can take your breath away – and will by all of the legal guidelines of physics and biology take Wick’s breath away completely, however no matter. However there are additionally moments of sly humour. I really like the Sisyphean notion of climbing the 222 stairs to the Paris cathedral of Sacré-Coeur for a showdown, solely to be knocked again down each final riser by a random assailant on the high.

Chapter 4

is as soon as once more directed by Chad Stahelski, a former stuntman with 77 such credit to his title in the whole lot from battle choreography to utility stunts to Keanu Reeves’ physique double. His work as a director consists solely of the John Wick franchise, although I discover that he has no fewer than 11 extra initiatives in improvement or pre-production, together with a

n adaptation of Tom Clancy’s novel

Rainbow Six

, a remake of the 1986 basic


, and


, which is both a title or its secrecy designation.

Will he reach any of those post-Wickian endeavours? We’ll have to attend and see. However go see

John Wick: Chapter 4,

and also you’ll be virtually three hours nearer to discovering out.

John Wick: Chapter 4 opens March 24 in theatres.

4 stars out of 5

Copyright Postmedia Community Inc., 2023