John Wick: Chapter 4 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

John Wick: Chapter 4 – Violence Personified: Fear the Baba Yaga

Going to the movies is something I truly enjoy.  Each experience is morphed by the unknown, a trail defined within my happiness, laughter, and tears.  Each time I walk through those doors, I hope the hours spent lead to an unforgettable memory.  In this review, I look at the next film in a popular action franchise.  Within a world of assassins and allegiances, we find our titular character facing the ultimate threat.  Through a simple journey, John Wick: Chapter 4 is the epitome of the action genre … a violent masterpiece.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has been on a blazing path of destruction.  With one final obstacle to confront, will he finally be free?  Going into this film, it is a nominal thought to understand that basic cliches and archetypes are not a flaw but strength.  This is a preset from the previous three entries, leading to a simplistic narrative being lifted through the creativity of action.  In the beginning, we find our titular character lost to the fray because of a parlay made between the high table and the Winston (Ian McShane).  Through convenient plot devices, Wick decides to commit the ultimate sin against the High Table.  With this final straw broken, they decide to unleash their trump card, the Grand Marquis (Bill Skarsgard).  With all their resources at his disposal, he takes on the ‘Baba Yaga’ with no remorse.  This leads to a scorch earth of consequential moments, foreshadowing a finality of the High Table vs. John Wick.  With the basics laid out, everything from this point becomes a roller coaster ride of the action genre.  As the direction weaves through these basics (as mentioned before), the relative means of enjoyment is lifted through the technicality of the visuals.  Built through the aspect of the assassin world, we get to see an expansive spectrum through the prominence of spectacle.  This elaboration leads to layers of ingenuity, colorful set pieces, raw/visceral action, and the unpredictability of techniques.  Through each conflict on this global hopping adventure, there is a complexity that pushes the extremes of the genre, lifting the audience through a unique sense of depth without breaking from the simplistic threads (of the journey).  John Wick sees everything as an obstacle to his freedom, maneuvering with a fragile purpose around his ‘larger than life’ persona.  As he moves through each situation (violently), there is grace in his kill count while he looks for that one-way ticket the Grand Marquis cannot refuse. 

As John Wick uses all the resources (at his disposal), it is equally complimented (in kind) by his antagonist.  The Grand Marquis enlists the help of Caine (Donnie Yen) and Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson) to counter Wick’s onslaught.  With a compliment of equal strength, the aspect of each encounter is a gift that delights with genuine appeal.  Each character has a different ‘way’ of fighting, providing levity to the action set pieces.  As each encounter continues to escalate,  Wick is faced with one path to get from under all of these obstacles.  With that finality coming to the forefront, we head into a third act of action glory.  The final act, through some suspension of disbelief, showcases the strength of sound and cinematography, a monument to the visceral nature of the genre.  This leads to the unique confrontational climax and an epilogue befitting of the character.  John Wick: Chapter 4 is simply a masterpiece in action.  If you are a fan of the character, action or actors involved, this is definitely going to be a treat.  Simply … worth every penny to see on the big screen.

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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