John Wick (Keanu Reeves) uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.
What We Thought:
If you had asked me what 2023 movie I cared most about and was the most excited for, I would have said John Wick: Chapter 4. So needless to say, my expectations were huge. My response after seeing the film last night? John Wick: Chapter 4 is quite possibly the greatest action movie ever made. I am 100% serious about that. I am a huge fan of the franchise and Chapter 4 is somehow the best of the best. It not only met, but monumentally surpassed my expectations. Even being over 2 hours and 40 minutes long, I would have stayed in my seat and watched it immediately again if possible.
First of all, the film is gorgeous. The color palette is absolutely stunning. The depths of coloring is so unnecessary in a movie where the audience is watching Keanu Reeves shoot person after person, but the level of detail in the lighting and coloring adds an incredible level of filmmaking. Director Chad Stahelski amped up every aspect of filmmaking to make his piece de resistance.
Then there is the score. John Wick movies have great scores and music, but just like the coloring, it’s taken up a notch. There is a scene with a DJ and Wick trying to stay alive on the streets that uses multiple songs to keep you glued to the screen. Same for a fight sequence with hundreds of extras dancing. The coloring, the score, the pacing mixed with the action is an onslaught on the senses in the best way possible.
Speaking of action, there is some in it. And by some I mean 3 or 4 action sequences that will have you talking about the movie for hours afterwards. If a film had one of these sequences, you’d go crazy over it. This has multiple. There is a sequence of over head shots that is simply mind blowing. It feels like you’re playing Goldeneye 64 for the Nintendo 64 using the grenade launchers and having the time of your life. There is the staircase scene, the previously mentioned fight in the club, a battle at the Osaka Continental, a chase scene with cars, motorcycles and much, much more. You’re exhausted while watching it and you’re not even participating.
Not only does Keanu Reeves deliver again, the movie adds in Donnie Yen, Scott Adkins, Hiroyuki Sanada and others. Four films into the franchise Reeves clearly knows how to fight, handle a gun or blade, but with the addition of Yen, one of the best martial arts actors of the past 30 years, the hand to hand fighting is amazing. Sanada is one of the best as well and even in a fat suit, Adkins gets the job done. Newcomer Shamier Anderson is a solid addition and I expect him and his dog to get their own spinoff.
I don’t know what it will take for another movie to surpass John Wick: Chapter 4 as my favorite film of 2023. There are 9 months left in the year and I can’t imagine what movie will give me the experience I got last night. I pounded my lap, clapped my hands, cheered and roared for almost three hours. If it isn’t the greatest action film ever made, it’s in the conversation. An absolute must see film on the big screen. I want more!
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Skarsgard, Rina Sawayama, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Clancy Brown, Aimee Kwan, Marko Zaror, Natalia Tena, Dorothea Neukirchen, Scott Adkins, Sven Marquardt
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Written by: Shay Hatten, Michael Finch
Produced by: Chad Stahelski, Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee