The sequel to the movie about the legendary renegade killer John Wick premiered. This time, the man in black is prepared to stop the hunt for himself and settle all the old accounts. But how (and, most importantly, why) will Wick live? About whether Baba Yaga will finally be able to relax - read our review.
The task of catching the fugitive assassin is now the responsibility of Marquis Vincent de Gramont, an ambitious member of The High Table, who recruits Caine, an old friend of Wick's, and puts a hefty bounty on the head of Baba Yaga. An army of mercenaries is after John anywhere in the world, and the only way to end the war with the High Table is to challenge Gramont to a duel. The only question is whether Mr. Wick will have time to comply with everything before he gets shot in the head.
The new "John Wick" is a brilliant and incredibly inventive action film which has proven to be the best of all sequels to the original. It is an amazingly lyrical epilogue (in a very tragic way) for the whole franchise.
The original version lasted 3 h 45 minutes. A lot of subcharacter lines have been cut out of the film. The result is great. John Wick 4 feels like a roller coaster tour thanks to its balanced rhythm and distribution of attention to the different characters. It is a very neat attraction, where moments of peace are not a rest between fights and shootings, but a part of the show. At the same time, the action in the movie is so diverse in style and presentation that it has no time to bore the viewer.
John Wick has always been famous for its creative action sequences. And in the fourth part, Chad Stahelski again proved to be on top. There are just three action scenes in the film, one in every third of the film. But they last half an hour, and their dynamics change every 5 minutes.
Here, Wick fights with enemies amidst traffic at the Arc de Triomphe. And now he's already climbing a huge staircase to the Sacred Heart Church, leaving behind a mountain of corpses. Here is the blind virtuoso Caine muzzles the Japanese gangsters in the kitchen. And there he fights Wick in the luxurious armoury, groping for a machine gun with his cane. There are so many fights and shootings that half the local action scenes could make a fairly decent action film for a standard hour and a half.
No tattering or agitated camera. Dan Laustsen (who worked on the second and third John Wick films, as well as on the films Silent Hill and Brotherhood of the Wolf) was responsible for the camera work, who skillfully keeps people fighting each other in focus.
Pay special attention to the epic fight in the Parisian mansion: the camera moves long and hard after Wick from above from room to room, switching to medium and close-ups only at key moments.
However, the series has always been famous for the colourful images of the characters. Remember at least the Japanese assassin from the third part, or the mute bodyguard from the second. Here we have not only a new gallery of vivid images - from a fat German gambler to a sophisticated marquis - but also a much more serious study of the motivation of both Wick's enemies and friends.
Pathfinder nicknamed Nobody has a chance to become a meme hero at the expense of his dog. But Caine's story has been the most touching (by the way, this role was played by Hong Kong star Donnie Yen). This is where the fourth "John Wick" seems the more serious, despite all the schematic presentation. Yes, and John Wick himself in the end also turned out to be a tragic character - a tired killer who is looking for freedom and peace, but hardly knows how to live with them. So the end of his odyssey seems, albeit sad, but completely natural.
Every second frame I want to print and hang on in the form of a poster in my room. Osaka, New York, Berlin, Paris - the plot launches John Wick around the world, and every city has a different atmosphere. Japan's neon jungle is replaced by Paris' narrow streets, and the German disco replaced by a secret gypsy hangout. Pay special attention to chasing John around Paris, almost the entire scene - from the frames with female lips at the microphone to the cover of Nowhere To Run - is an elegant reference to Walter Hill's cult action ‘The Warriors’, whose main characters are also on the run all the time.
Of the shortcomings, it is worth highlighting perhaps the usual indestructibility of the protagonist. Well, that's John Wick. Hardcore realism fans are clearly not here.
John Wick: Chapter 4 shows us what a big-budget action film should look like - whirlwind, but not brainless. It's a talented blockbuster made with soul. Chad Stahelski ended John Wick's saga on a positive note with the best sequel so far. Of course, the franchise has a great future: the TV Mini-Series ‘The Continental’ has already been announced, and a spin-off titled ‘Ballerina’ is in development, in which Wick should appear, although not in the primary role. But the franchise is over, and I want to believe that the world's most famous killer is at peace.