Starring Keanu Reeves, Bill Skarsgard, Donnie Yen,
Lawrence Fishburne, and Ian McShane
Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV,
and will be available to stream on Starz September 26.
First Impression: “John Wick: Chapter 4” is a violent non-stop action ride that enthralls and entertains while constantly reinventing itself. This is the fourth sequel in the John Wick franchise, yet it still manages to do something rare, potentially being the best in the series. I know it’s early in the decade, but I think this film will go down as one of the best action films of the 2020s.
Whether you know of the John Wick character or not, his story is a familiar one with fans of the action film genre. We are first introduced to John Wick as a mysterious unassuming man of few words who lives by a certain code of honor, and with humility.
As time goes on, he reveals himself as one of the deadliest assassins on the planet, and has earned the nickname “The Baba Yaga” which translates from Russian to “The Boogeyman.” In the case of John Wick, he was known as the man who is sent to kill the boogeyman. Needless to say, his reputation is legendary among the secret underground worldwide network of assassins, who have secret hubs all over the world, specifically in New York City, where The Continental Hotel serves as Wicks’ home base.
The story of the series begins as the son of a Russian gangster (who has had a run-in with a then retired Wick) haphazardly breaks into Wick’s house, steals his car and kills his dog — the last things his wife left him before she died. This event sets off John Wick on a killing spree that has now spanned into the four-movie series, as he settled scores and righted the wrongs done to him, leaving an almost unbelievable body count along the way.
This fourth film sets the stage for John Wick to gain his final revenge on the members of the “High Table,” the wealthy and powerful men who are the power behind the throne of the assassin network who want John Wick neutralized by any means necessary. The man tasked with Wicks’ death is the snobby and arrogant Marquis Vincent Bisset de Gramont, played by Bill Skarsgard, who gained notable fame from “Pennywise” the clown and “It” horror films.
Skarsgard as the Marquis, proves to be a worthy foe for John Wick, loaded with seemingly unlimited resources. The film rolls along as other assassins are also eager to take out Wick as the bounty on his head rises to an obscene sum.
The action pieces in the film are second to none and stand out for their practical effects, especially the car chase scene, which takes place in Paris. It will leave you stunned as to how such an enormous stunt is feasible on the busy streets there!
While the film feels like a great place to close the book on this great franchise, the ending leaves much speculation on whether we will see John Wick again. I, for one, would love to see another film, but I’m not sure how much more the stakes can be raised or improved upon in this action-packed masterpiece.