Review: Get your adrenaline pumped with swashbuckling franchise best 'John Wick: Chapter 4'
Does the near three-hour runtime become a concern? Does the fourth instalment do justice to the glowing predecessors? That and many questions answered ahead as having had the chance to see the film beforehand, here is what I thought about it-
John Wick: Chapter 4
As I somehow manage to get my rushing adrenaline and bursting testosterone levels to normalcy, John Wick: Chapter 4 and the experience of consuming it doesn't quite let me do that. The unkillable assassin is back in a fourth instalment of the series and the scale is bigger, better as it also attempts to reach a culmination.
Does the near three-hour runtime become a concern? Does the fourth film do justice to the glowing predecessors? That and many questions answered ahead as having had the chance to see the film beforehand, here is what I thought about it-
The Three Hour Runtime
In an attempt to address the obvious elephant in the room, the biggest concern with this film was that just how has director Chad Stahelski managed to justify the near-three hour runtime of what is essentially an action film. The answer is simple - Yes, he has, to almost perfection. I would say that there are a few stretches of lagging storyline and an almost deliberate attempt to slow down the pace in the non-action sequences but they don't bother too much.
Owing to the fact that this story of John Wick is now four movies old, you are invested in all the characters enough to give them time as it tries to reach a crescendo. The long runtime doesn't bother as much as you would have anticipated and that is courtesy the brilliant staging of incredibly long action sequences. One action piece in the first half is almost thirty minutes long (not kidding) but it is expertly staged and choreographed not feeling like a drag in any manner.
The Exhilarating, Breath-taking, Swashbuckling Action
Any form of adjectives or superlatives in any language might fall short to describe and praise the action set pieces. I mean, it is kind obvious for many but even then the incredible effort by director Stahelski and his entire action team and what they have managed to pull off here - is absolutely riveting. Every kill, every punch, every gunshot, every car hit and literally every goddamn piece of movement is felt through the gut.
Stahelski and cinematographer Dan Laustsen even get indulgent here where in the second half, you witness a beautifully captured long one take sequence that has Wick killing people and setting them on fire. The action afficionados are in for a treat here and even the ones who don't quite like the genre - might still have the time of their lives.
The Real Heroes - The Stuntmen
John Wick might be really proud of how his kill count continues to rise exponentially and here, it is off the charts where at one point, he kills over 222 men but I cannot stress enough how the stuntmen deserve all the plaudits to make this franchise and specifically this film, what it actually is. When you go the film's IMDb page and look at the endless list of names involved in stuntwork, you only respect and acknowledge these people more and more. With men flying and dying like ants in abundance and making it look as gruesome and realistic as anything else, the stuntmen in this film are the real heroes indeed.
The Donnie Yen Show
Keanu Reeves has gotten better and better with every instalment and here again, he is charming and mesmerising as the unkillable assassin with crazier things to do. But to me, this film is an out-and-out Donnie Yen show. The legendary Hong Kong martial artist and actor somehow gets his career best role to perform here and as the blind retired assassin, Caine. Yen gets a full arc to play with. With his own backstory, Yen is fantastic with his acting chops but talking about the real chops, he is flawless with his katana action, gunshots and unmatchable swagger. Doing all this while playing a blind man adds a level of difficulty even more but Yen does that with perfection. He is also the only actor apart from Lawrence Fishburne that adds humor to his scenes.
John Wick: Chapter 4 has a few problems with some dragging scenes and the characterisation of Bill Skarsgard as Marquis (which was so cliched) but the overall experience it engulfs you in - is marvellous. The film is easily the best so far in the four chapters, so get ready to be on a ride of thrills, kills and chills with Reeves and team.
Rating - **** (4/5)
Lionsgate and PVR Pictures brings John Wick: Chapter 4 in theatres tomorrow, 24th March.
P.S. - There is a post-credit scene so don't walk away as the end credits roll.
talkers 2 months ago Jonh Wick Fantastic Movie
2 months ago
This franchise has gone on to become the most beloved action franchise in such a short period of time. Much respect to the entire team.