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'John Wick: Chapter 4' review: The latest in Keanu Reeves' franchise is a pure, over-the-top action spectacle

The creatives behind the John Wick franchise have to lose sleep at night thinking about how to outdo themselves with each new entry. If so, it becomes strong evidence of insomnia, because John Wick: Chapter 4 is beyond its power in almost every way seniors.

Bigger, bolder, longer, and more spectacular than a movie, this epic action flick virtually redefines the stakes. If at times it’s hard to avoid the sense of overwrought chaos that borders dangerously close to overkill, then this seems fitting for a film series where the death toll is higher than some wars.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Bottom line As the title character says: “Yeah!”

Release date : March Friday24
Throwing : Keanu Reeves , Donnie Yen , Bill Skarsgard , Lawrence Fishburne , Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamir Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, Ian McShane , Marco Zaro, Na Talia Turner Director : Chad Stahelski Screenwriter: Shay Hatten, Michael Finch Rated R, 2 hours 87 minute

“The bloodshed in Osaka was unnecessary,” said one observer after dozens of people died in a typically violent scuffle at a luxury hotel, which was left almost in ruins. “Bleeding is key,” said another. The same is true of this hugely successful series, which stars Keanu Reeves as the ex-killer who thought he was out, only to be pulled back after his beloved puppy was killed in the first film. The bloodshed is the focus of—or, more accurately, the well-choreographed and shot action sequences that make particular use of martial arts and gunfights known as “shootouts.” This version ups the ante even further, with an impressive car chase/shootout through the streets of Paris (including around the Arc de Triomphe), bringing “Car Mania” into the violent mix.

Things don’t go too well for the titular character at the start of the film, which isn’t unusual for him. The High Table, the international criminal organization that seems to rule the world, is bleeding for him. To that end, their representative, the Marquis (Bill Skarsgard, happily playing a slightly less villainous character than his Pennywise counterpart) puts a bounty on his hands, luring freelance agents like Stalker (Shamier Anderson), who doesn’t Goes nowhere without his loyal and very deadly Belgian Malinois. The Marquis also hires the blind but equally dangerous Kane (Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen), a former friend of Wick’s who only accepts assignments because if he doesn’t, the High Table will kill his daughter.

Wick’s friends are not doing well either. Early in the proceedings, a high-table emissary known as the Herald (Clancy Brown) showed up at the Continental Hotel, a cozy assassin haven in downtown New York, and notified its owner, Winston (Ian C. McShane, funnier than ever) and his faithful concierge (Lance Reddick) say the hotel will be demolished within the hour.

Newcomers to the series would do well to do some research beforehand, as mythology is a strong element, as the above summary shows. Arguably, like many franchises dealing with fantasy worlds, the creators have been carried away by their intricate structures. I won’t make such an argument, because I think the refined world created by John Wick movies, which looks an awful lot like ours, is one of the tastiest elements of it. But you can’t blame the repeat viewers who streamed the movie later as they fast-forwarded to the action through the soundtrack.

Recounting the highlights of those well-placed scenes would take up too much space because there are so many of them. (According to the filmmakers, there were 14 in total. I can’t vouch for the accuracy because I can’t remember exactly.) Wickprofessional), in a water-soaked, multi-story nightclub There’s a stunning fight scene in which hundreds of revelers barely notice the standoff between Wick and Gold Tooth Kira. The latter, played by action movie star and former MMA fighter Scott Adkins, is amusingly outfitted with prosthetics and a huge A catsuit that somehow doesn’t impede his fighting skills.

Then there is the shootout between Vic and hordes of deadly minions in the rambling rooms of an apartment building, filmed from overhead with a floating camera that follows successive moves, as if it were observing a particularly violent ant colony. Another fight scene takes place on the huge steep staircase leading up to the Sacre Coeur, which is ridiculous – including Wick repeatedly falling down the stairs, then getting up and starting again, like a black man – in a suit Wile E. Coyote – which elicited wild laughter from the audience at the press screening.

Director Chad Stahelski has helmed all of the previous films and his formidable special effects team has surpassed their previous work, which says something . The sequences, like the great dance numbers in old MGM musicals, complete incredibly complex, lengthy sequences that feature the performers’ full bodies, not a gun here or a limb there. Dynamically edited clips for . They’re so masterful, you almost want to stand and applaud when everyone finishes.

Unlike many films set in exotic locations that offer some fixed shots of local landmarks before being filmed somewhere in Canada, John Wick : Chapter Four uses it to fantastic effect in its many locations in Paris and Berlin. Of particular note are the scenes of the dandy-clad Marquis, who only seems to operate in venues such as the Paris Opera and the Louvre, both of which seem to be at his personal disposal.

Reeves at one point wore a Kevlar suit and shirt that made it seem like he could get shot thousands of times without getting hurt (the lapel he used was like a vampire’s cloak), and he’s very receptive to the role The insane body demands so much effort that he deserves an award for either acting or surviving. But he plays Wick so well that he manages to wake the audience up with just one impassioned “Yay!”

Reeves graciously shares the spotlight with his co-stars, including Yen, whose physical wit and charismatic performance make you can’t wait for the inevitable spin-off, and Japanese star Horoyuki Sanada as Shimazu, the manager of the Osaka hotel who fought alongside Wick. Shimazu’s daughter Akira (singer Rina Sawayama, making her screen debut) will no doubt appear in future editions. It wouldn’t be a John Wick movie without the return of the Bowery King, played so definitively by Laurence Fishburne.

Running for nearly three hours, John Wick: Chapter 4 can certainly be blamed for being too long. But I doubt many fans will complain.

Full credits

Production Company:24 Eleven Entertainment, Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, Thunder Road Films Distributor : Lionsgate Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Ska Sgaard, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamir Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, Ian McShane, Marko Zaro, Natalia TenaDirector: Chad StahelskiWriters: Shay Hatten, Michael Finch Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Chad Stehelski Executive Producers: Keanu Reeves, Louise Rosner, David Leith, Michael Paseornek Director of Photography: Dan Laustsen Production Designer : Kevin Kavanaugh Editor: Nathan Orloff Costume Design: Paco Delgado Composer: Tyler Bates, Joel J. Richard Cast: Kharmel Cochrane Rated R, 2 hours minute

87 THR Communications 49

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