Absolute masterpiece, likely the best Hollywood action film everWednesday March 29 2023
Over the years, only a handful of movies have left me awestruck, like Terminator 2, The Matrix, 300, Atonement, and the two Avatar movies.
But when I settled in to watch John Wick Chapter 4, I had no idea that I was in for an exhilarating ride that would challenge my understanding of what an action movie is supposed to be.
I must confess, my expectations for John Wick Chapter 4 were not very high. I mean, how could they possibly top the first three movies?
But boy, was I wrong. From the opening scene to the end credits, this film is an absolute masterpiece that sets a new standard for action movies.
The cinematic achievement is a perfect blend of breathtaking visuals, exceptional fight scenes, and a compelling storyline that will leave audiences captivated from start to finish.
Director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Shay Hatten have outdone themselves with this latest instalment of the John Wick franchise, offering a level of world-building and character development that is nothing short of outstanding.
What makes John Wick Chapter 4 stand out from its predecessors is the level of detail put into crafting the world and characters.
Right from the start, it is evident that the primary theme in this is consequences, accountability, and culture - issues that the modern world and Hollywood are actively trying to avoid.
The film takes us on a thrilling journey through different cities and cultures, introducing us to a diverse cast of characters, each with a unique flair that adds depth and complexity to the story.
One of the standout performances comes from Donnie Yen, who infuses his role with his signature Hong Kong action style while adding a layer of emotion and humour that humanises his character.
Bill Skarsgård and Scott Atkins also give incredible performances, portraying stylish villains with charismatic personalities that make them unforgettable.
Of course, Keanu Reeves once again proves why he is one of the most iconic action stars of our time, portraying the legendary hitman John Wick with a level of intensity and nuance that is awe-inspiring.
His performance speaks volumes even with minimal dialogue, and his actions speak louder as he takes on the High Table globally, forced to travel to different continents in search of his targets.
It is worth noting that Lance Reddick (who recently died) is in this film, and intriguingly, the events depicted in the film bear a striking resemblance to real-life occurrences.
While it is uncertain whether this was a mere coincidence, it is fascinating to consider the possibility that the movie's plot was somehow informed by or reflective of actual events.
It is a testament to the power of storytelling that a work of fiction can so closely parallel reality, leaving viewers to wonder at the intricate interplay between art and life.
Picture and sound
The fight scenes in John Wick Chapter 4 are nothing short of breathtaking, showcasing a level of choreography and cinematography that is ground-breaking.
The camera work is revolutionary, utilising new techniques that bring a sense of fluidity and realism to the action, giving some scenes a video game look and feel.
One particular set piece that takes place in traffic at the Arc de Triomphe is an unforgettable moment that will be remembered for years to come.
The sound design and music in the film are masterfully integrated, creating an immersive and captivating atmosphere that enhances the action set pieces.
The sound effects are used cleverly to guide the audience and enhance the impact of the action scenes (particularly in the third act), while the music is perfectly picked to match the tone and energy of each moment, adding an emotional depth to the story.
The visual style and colour grading in John Wick Chapter 4 are intentional, serving the story rather than just enhancing the film's visual appeal.
The city skylines, sunlight, and how the light illuminates everything around it makes for some of the most beautiful cinematic experiences in recent memory.
The film's almost three-hour runtime flies by thanks to the expert direction, editing, and pacing, making it feel like a 60-minute experience.
John Wick Chapter 4 is a cinematic masterpiece that sets a new standard for action movies. It's a testament to the power of cinema to create a beautiful ballet of action that is both visceral and poetic.
The new characters and world-building add a level of depth and complexity that make this one of the most engaging Hollywood films in recent years.
The fight scenes are a work of art, and the sound design and music elevate the experience to new heights.
Keanu Reeves delivers a powerful performance, and the supporting cast is equally impressive. Overall, John Wick Chapter 4 might be the best Hollywood action film ever made.