John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) Review



John Wick: Chapter 4 has the best action scenes you’ll see this year with a scene stealing turn from Scott Adkins and Donnie Yen at his absolute coolest; it goes on too long and could have trimmed a few minutes off the runtime but it’s visually stunning and oozing in style, making it a must-see.

Plot: With the price on his head ever increasing, legendary hit man John Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin.

Review: I feel like everyone has already seen this movie before me but better late than never, I guess. John Wick: Chapter 4 is finally here after what feels like an eternity since the end of the third movie. Has it been worth the wait? I can safely say, yes and then some. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better action movie this year than John Wick: Chapter 4 with its jaw dropping action scenes, incredible visuals and memorable characters.

Donnie Yen practically owns the movie and oozes cool every moment he is on screen; at first I was little disappointed that he was playing another blind character after doing that in Rogue One but Caine (as he’s called) is more fleshed out as he’s forced to do the High Table’s bidding to protect his daughter from harm.

The real show stopper for me was Scott Adkins as Killa; he gives one of his best ever performances here, providing some much needed humour while still being a nasty piece of work; I also love how his suit is similar to Sammo Hung’s in SPL. Here’s hoping Killa leads to more high profile roles in the future.

There are a few nods to other films like the female DJ narrating as various goons try to attack John, is straight out of The Warriors.

Mr. Wick himself Keanu Reeves is an absolute beast here throwing himself down stairs, getting shot and being hit by cars and yet he always gets up without a scratch. Some have said that these movies are basically like videogames with Wick mowing down wave upon wave of bad guys and that’s exactly right, but when it’s this entertaining then, who cares? He may not say much but we still root for Wick anyway wanting him to finally find redemption and peace after a life of bloodshed.

But what of the action? Well, I have no complaints as we get regular hand-to-hand fights, shoot outs and brutal kills so action fans will have a blast; the dragon’s breath shotgun sequence will likely become a classic and is one of the many highlights.

In terms of flaws it’s the same one I have for most recent movies – it’s too long at nearly 3 hours; some have said they haven’t noticed the runtime but I certainly did and thought the second half did drag in parts.

Aside from that, this is a film I’ll be thinking about for days as there was so much going on; I’ve likely said this before but the John Wick movies are easily the best looking action movies of all-time; every scene looks incredible and Chapter 4 may be the most stunning visually, but even though there are some references to other movies the John Wick Universe does feel unique, which isn’t something we see too often these days.

Bill Skarsgård is easily the best villain of the franchise and is immediately hateful so we can’t wait for him to get what he deserves.

I need to also mention some of the other supporting cast including the always magnetic Hiroyuki Sanada as Shimazu and the great Marko Zaror as the nearly unstoppable Chidi. Clancy Brown (Highlander) always makes any movie better and he has a sizeable role here too. There is a nice tribute to Lance Reddick, who played Charon, at the end as we all know he sadly passed away last week – so it gave the film extra heart.

Take note: there is a post credits scene so be sure not to leave early.

Overall, John Wick: Chapter 4 is a (possibly) fitting end to the franchise with jaw dropping action, memorable characters and every scene looks gorgeous. It goes on too long and could have trimmed some fat in the second half as I did start to tune out (especially at the stairs sequence) but this is still the action movie to beat this year. Good luck, Fast X…