Christian Cortave’s review published on Letterboxd:
We come to this place for the Baba Yaga. That indescribable feeling we get when the lights begin to dim & we follow John Wick as he travels to New York, Morocco, Berlin, Osaka & Paris. Not just entertained but somehow reborn (with assassin-like abilities) together. Dazzling action sequences on a huge silver screen, carnage that I can feel. Somehow, seeing John Wick on a vengeful rampage against the High Table feels good in a place like this.
Sorry, I couldn’t help but make a condensed John Wickian homage of the Nicole Kidman AMC ad because I’m still riding high of that To Die For/Practical Magic double feature I did at the New Beverly last night. If you want to hear my thoughts, feel free to check out my reviews which I linked in the previous sentence. Between that & John Wick Chapter 4, I definitely had an elite weekend of going to the movies. Anyway, enough about my favorite actress of all time/her iconic ad, and let’s talk about the return of John Wick!
John Wick Chapter 4 is FINALLY here & when we last saw our titular character, he was excommunicated & somehow managed to survive that big of a fall as he got shot & fell from the Continental hotel building. That was such an absurd ending but it’s been quite the wait because as you know, this film should’ve already been released but COVID happened. At one point, we could’ve had a Keanu Reeves double feature with this & Matrix Resurrections but that unfortunately didn’t happen. I’m a fan of the John Wick franchise as the previous 3 installments have been great. I remember seeing the first one the day after the Patriots won Super Bowl 51 & being completely surprised with how awesome it was. Then I was able to see the next two in theaters, loved those so of course I was hyped for Chapter 4 & this ended up being the best installment in the franchise!
The action sequences were fucking incredible, especially in IMAX & the entire stunt team should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. The cinematography was also a major highlight. There were so many brilliant sequences but my favorite was the overhead scene involving John Wick using a shotgun with flaming rounds where it essentially became Hotline Miami/Call of Duty: Zombies Dead Ops Arcade brought to life. Once the camera started having the overhead shot, I was blown away & those video games instantly came to mind; such a creative decision from Stahelski. Shoutout to the Paris skirmish that happens prior & the climax involving dueling pistols because I loved those scenes very much. Keanu Reeves was once again brilliant as John Wick, he was born to play this character who is hands down one of the coldest characters of all time.
The supporting cast also did a great job. I liked seeing Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane & Lance Reddick once again. Regarding the latter, may he rest in peace & thank you for playing Charon/all the roles you’ve done over the course of your career very well; you will be missed. Hiroyuki Sanada/Rina Sawayama were awesome & Bill Skarsgård’s villain sounded a lot like Safin from No Time To Die. Shamier Anderson as the Tracker was a very interesting character and he had a handful of awesome action moments with him. Scott Adkins was awesome as Killa & loved his screen presence. And last but certainly not least, Donnie Yen was arguably the MVP as Caine, one of John Wick’s oldest friends & also had so many sequences where he was just being a total badass by being creative with his skills.
Overall, the return of John Wick absolutely ruled & IMO, this was the best action film I’ve seen since Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Heading into Chapter 4, the 169 minute runtime worried me for a bit because I wasn’t expecting it to be this long at all! Was really hoping that this didn’t end up being overlong but thankfully that wasn’t the case. JW4 earned that runtime & it took full advantage with all of those action sequences and storytelling. This lived up to the hype & I love how consistent this franchise has been. Chapter 4 was the first film I saw in IMAX since Avatar: The Way of Water & I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. Also loved how my showing was almost sold out. For the most part, almost/completely full IMAX showings happens with MCU films at my AMC but it was refreshing seeing a non-superhero film getting this treatment. Your move Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning - Part 1