John Wick : Chapter 4

John Wick : Chapter 4
Original title:John Wick : Chapter 4
Director: Chad Stahelski
Running time:169 minutes
Release date:24 march 2023
John Wick discovers a way to defeat the criminal organization known as the Big Table. But before he can win his freedom, he must confront a new enemy who has forged powerful alliances around the world and is turning John's old friends into enemies.

Mulder's Review

Often when a film is highly anticipated, it turns out to be disappointing because expectations are so high and the final result lacks efficiency, memorable scenes or does not compete with other equally expected works. However, the new chapter of the cinematographic saga John Wick is the most successful and memorable to date. Of course, the film follows the rules established by the first part and revenge still holds a central place as well as the presence of many memorable action scenes, but this part imposes itself by its perfectly mastered length and memorable moments of efficiency as the master standard of the modern action film. A cross between action film, thriller, western and adventure film and appears as an answer to other recent cinematographic sagas like Mission Impossible and James Bond. The fact is that the action takes place in New York, Paris, Berlin, Osaka and Jordan

When discovering John Wick: Chapter 4 one thinks of John Woo's masterpieces The Killer (1989) and Hard Boiled (1992) but also of the many American action films of the 80s and 90s and consecrates Keanu Reeves as the successor of the actioners that were Steven Seagal, Jet li, Brandon Lee and other prominent figures of American and Asian cinema. John Wick: Chapter 4 goes beyond the simple action movie to impose a new standard, so much the care given to the realization, to the image of the film, to the use of numerous stunts (among the stuntmen, Among the stuntmen, the names of the French stuntmen Laurent Demianoff (coordinator of the fights and choreographer of the fights) and Vincent Bouillon (John Wick/Keanu Reeves understudy) are to be remembered). They show a real will to dynamize the genre by proposing intense and numerous scenes during which the spectators will applaud many times as it was the case during this memorable preview at the most mythical cinema of Paris, the Grand Rex. John Wick: Chapter 4 is above all an intense cinematographic experience that imposes itself as one of the best films of this year, an action film that will not leave any moment of respite to the spectators in spite of a little bit long set up and surely wanted by the scriptwriters Shay Hatten and Michael Finch and the director Chad Stahelski.

This fourth installment picks up some time after the previous one leaving John Wick almost dead and we find him in perfect shape training and with the will to take revenge once again on those who imposed such a treatment on him. He seems to have discovered a way to defeat the High Table, but before he can gain his freedom, he must face a new enemy with powerful alliances around the world and forces. It is easy to understand the difficulty of the scriptwriters to take over from Derek Kolstad who succeeded in creating a real universe between the action movie, the obsessive thriller and the comic book and Hong Kong movies. The intelligence of the script is to have succeeded in extending this universe by placing new characters perfectly defined. We discover a blind assassin trapped in spite of himself by the high table, Caine (Donnie Yen, impressive), the Marquis of Gramont (Bill Skarsgård), a powerful member of the high table worthy of the best villains of the James Bond universe, Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada), the manager of the Osaka Continental Hotel in which John Wick has found refuge, Akira, Shimazu's daughter (Rina Sawayama), Killa (Scott Adkins), the head of the German Table, The Harbinger (Clancy Brown) a high ranking agent of the High Table but also Katia (Natalia Tena) John Wick's adopted sister and Chidi (Marko Zaror) the right hand man of the Marquis of Gramont. The many new characters in this film bring to it a solid development structure and shows a real willingness to develop the universe of John Wick as it will be the case with a spin-off Ballerina with Ana de Armas in the role of the ballerina-assassin Rooney Brown and the highly anticipated series The Continental.

The director Chad Stahelski, present since the first part, has taken advantage of his past as a stuntman to bring to this cinematographic saga an undeniable know-how and certainly John Wick: Chapter 4 imposes him as the undisputed master of the action film. The numerous sequences shot in Paris are simply impressive and will remain engraved for a long time in the memory of movie lovers and film enthusiasts. This film shows that a movie theater is and will remain the perfect place to discover perfectly mastered blockbusters. In the same way as for the previous films, the stunts of the film are of a very high level with a permanent inventiveness to reinforce the effectiveness of the action scenes. 

The scenes of the film in Paris lasted all the month of October and allowed the director to shoot in several emblematic places of Paris like the Place de l'étoile, the Sacré Coeur, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Place Pigalle, the Metro Porte des Lilas, the Opera, the Louvre, the Saint Marti canal, a Parisian air raid shelter, the Trocadero, the Place Dalida (18th) but also in the Paris region like the Bry-sur-Marne Studio, the Cité du Cinéma and the Versailles stables. It comes out scenes in beautiful places and that makes this film a highlight for many travelers to come visit Paris (a John Wick tour would be a good idea in itself). The great care taken in the realization of this film which required more than five hundred people in Paris is really present before the eyes of the spectators who will see in it the impressive means to deliver what announces itself as one of the biggest successes of the year. Certainly we feel the will of the scriptwriters to follow in the footsteps of the last part of Mission Impossible taking place in Paris and once again the geography of the city seems surprising for any inhabitant of Paris knowing its geography. However, the efficiency is the key word of this film and we find with an intact pleasure Keanu Reeves who takes a real pleasure to give life to his character

Another interesting aspect of the film is the use of the characters of Caine and Killa who seem to come straight out of the Marvel universe because how can we not see in them a reflection of Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Kingpin and the action scenes of this film seem to go in this direction in the same way as the omnipresent inspiration of the comics in the cutting of the film and the action scenes able to compete in ingenuity with the Marvel cinematographic universe or even surpassing it by the real emotion palpable on the screen. Director Chad Stahelski has outdone himself to avoid a simple repetition of the previous films and above all to mark an important step in the evolution of the action film. There will inevitably be a post-John Wick 4 stage in the creation of new action films, as certain scenes such as those taking place at the Star Square are unprecedented on our screens. Certainly John Wick: Chapter 4 shows that action movies are not a minor genre but allows directors to push the current limits of cinema to move towards the cinema of tomorrow and in fact John Wick: Chapter 4 is a striking masterpiece of this year and is destined to be one of the biggest successes of this year. We can't wait to see it again in theaters

John Wick: Chapter 4
Directed by Chad Stahelski
Written by Shay Hatten, Michael Finch
Based on Characters by Derek Kolstad
Produced by Chad Stahelski, Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee
Starring Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, Natalia Tena, Marko Zaror, Ian McShane
Cinematography : Dan Laustsen
Edited by Nathan Orloff
Music by Tyler Bates, Joel J. Richard
Production companies : Summit Entertainment,Thunder Road Pictures, 87Eleven Productions
Distributed by Lionsgate (United States), 
Release date : March 22, 2023 (France), March 24, 2023 (United States)
Running time : 169 minutes

Seen on March 10, 2023 at the Grand Rex

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