John Wick: Chapter 4
This film reminded me of the old Clint Eastwood movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Ok, ok, are you going to like this film? Let me use a metaphor to best describe your chances.
Think of the best roller coaster ride that you have ever ridden. Now, imagine that it lasted 2 hours, 49 minutes. That summarizes this John Wick film. You are both encouraged and warned!
Keanu Reeves is superb playing Wick, a hit man with a price on his head. With very little dialogue, he is in a constant fight in nearly every scene as he battles the High Table’s attempts to kill him. His fight for his life takes him from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin.
Coming off his clever role as Pennywise in the horror films It (2017) and It Chapter Two (2019), Bill Skarsgård does a marvelous job playing the Marchese de Gramont, the head of the High Table. He is both quiet and unassuming as a villain who has unleashed an army to kill Wick.
What makes this movie hold your attention is that Wick is helped by a number of people, all in memorable roles. Ian McShane plays Winston Scott, Wick’s former enemy, who wants to save him and destroy the High Table, even though Charon, his top assistant, is killed. Ironically, Lance Reddick, who died recently, sends us a cinematic good-bye playing Charon.
While Laurence Fishburne has a small role playing the Bowery King, a McShane supporter, Donnie Yen and Shamier Anderson are unforgettable playing Caine and Mr. Nobody, the Tracker. Yen’s Caine is the most violent blind man to ever hit the silver screen. Along with Mr. Nobody and his killer dog, they temporarily become allies of the High Table until joining forces with Wick. Their struggle defines the appeal of this film.
While there are a number of other great performance, which include Wick’s old friends Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada) and his daughter Akira (Rina Sawayama), I’ll leave you to hunt them down in the film. Just remember the phrase “Loving Husband” that Wick wants on his tombstone. Why? You’ll find out.