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John Wick Chapter 4 review: Keanu Reeves powers through 'mass-produced' assassins in quest for freedom

Even assassins have rules and there is a way for John Wick (Keanu Reeves) to get the freedom he desires, after all. 

John Wick Chapter 4 review: Keanu Reeves powers through 'mass-produced' assassins in quest for freedom
Keanu Reeves in an action sequence from the film

Last Updated: 10.30 AM, Mar 24, 2023


Story: Jonathan Wick (Keanu Reeves) remains ex-communicated; there’s still a bounty out on him. Backed by the High Table, a new power player, the Marquis (Bill Skarsgard), attempts to smoke John out of hiding by going after anyone who has ever helped or supported the master assassin – starting with the New York Continental Hotel, which is 'shut down' and stripped off its concierge, and the Osaka Continental next in line. All that John wants is to get the High Table off his back, but in a world of high criminals and assassins, that’s going to be one helluva bloody affair.

Review: One thing that you don’t go looking for in a John Wick film is a story. The Keanu Reeves-led series has always been about great action, a lot of bloodshed and the most innovative ways to make a kill look cool. Three films and countless bodies later, it appears that guns for hire are still being mass produced in some remote factory. Everywhere that John goes – which he does fairly easily for someone with a bounty on him – there are assassins out to dispatch him and collect that multi-million pay cheque. The sheer number of underworld operatives that pop up every time there’s an announcement about John’s whereabouts and the monies involved is almost like a scene out of a zombie apocalypse movie – they swarm in, all guns blazing, but not one can get a bullet past his immaculate Kevlar-laced suit.


At nearly three hours, John Wick 4 is one of the lengthiest in the franchise, using about 98% of its run-time in having its protagonist go through a gazillion rounds of ammunition. John’s working style is simple - When you are wearing a bullet-repelling suit, your opponents will have some form of protection too, so you look for the nooks and crevices in between that you can pop in a round or two. And even after you’ve shot each down, it’s always in your best interest to pop one more in and ensure the kill. Problem is that there are only a finite number of ways to make a kill look super cool, so, after a point in John Wick 4, everything begins to look repetitive and, to an extent, boring. What was cool was an aerial view shot of an elaborate action sequence that moves from one room to another, which, I’m damn sure is a straight lift from a video game. But hey, no one’s complaining; it was fun to watch.

Keanu Reeves in a still from the film
Keanu Reeves in a still from the film

Keanu Reeves has never looked wearier in a John Wick film. He’s still made out to be indestructible, even when he’s tumbling down buildings or over 200 steps; hell, he doesn’t even sustain a scratch when he lands on a car from a good height. Even his drawn-out speech feels laboured… I could count to 10 and he’d not be done saying ‘Winston’. The late Lance Reddick, who played New York Continental's Charon, gets the short end of the stick in this edition. Bill Skarsgard as the Marquis is the biggest misfit in the overall scheme of things. He’s a good actor, no doubt; he’s a Skarsgard, after all, but this was a character that needed a whole lot more gravitas. Bill’s Marquis was quite literally an “idiot”, as Winston (Ian McShane), puts it.

Bill Skarsgard as the Marquis
Bill Skarsgard as the Marquis

Verdict: Now that multiple spin-offs to the series have been announced, the sincere hope is that John can finally ‘enjoy’ his hard fought for retirement. John Wick: Chapter 4 is strictly for die-hard fans of the franchise, who enjoy mindless action and bloodshed. Anyone else who is even remotely interested to know what all the fuzz is about, you can catch the earlier instalments on Lionsgate Play and decide if you really want to spend three hours watching this ‘serial-killer’ in action.

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