drunkoncinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
A breathtaking violent orgy that betters its predecessor on multiple levels with exhilarating action set pieces culminating in a stunning climax. Stahelski and team serve some of the best action sequences since Fury Road on a platter.Bon Appetit!
Johnwick4 full review:
Johnwick series has what I would call as videogamesque violence. The fourth part continues the tradition. It's ridiculously over the top, but so much fun. Though the bullets always miss the film's darlings as expected, the fight scenes are amazingly shot, lit, and choreographed with many single shots, and it is glorious to watch them unfold with each set piece competing to be better than the one before. The fight scene near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and a fight in a building captured in a God's Eye view really take the cake. I loved the creativity in each and every action sequence. They manage to blow our minds (pun intended) as John blows the minds of anybody standing in his way. Thats not easy unless you have an imagination to shoot every action scene in an unique way. Chad manages to do that. The Paris Warriors scene was just Chef's kiss. Chad takes action very seriously, and it shows. One particular scene with a dog is a scream! Each and every character has a motive, but all of them end in exhilarating shootouts. Lol, I loved it! But, in certain instances, it becomes very silly as Keanu Reeves does not even flinch in spite of undergoing impacts that would kill any man instantly. Imagine reacting to your leg being maimed like a mosquito biting it! Those scenes, for a little bit, pull you out of the film. A multitude of villains does not seem to perturb John as he slices through them like a child cutting a birthday cake.
The climax fight is short but impactful, but I did not expect that ending. I felt really sad, something I have not felt for a long time while watching a movie. Credits to the series for creating that impact. I really rooted for John Wick!
The cinematography by Dan Laustsen is another hero in this film. Each and every frame looks like a painting. Dan paints the action scenes with lots of hues, and the camera follows the fights like a cat would follow a mouse. stealthily, with a razor-sharp eye and focus. You are never at a healthy distance. We feel as though we are amidst the madness. Many action sequences are shot in a single take, which adds believability to them, with the God's Eye scene deserving a special mention. Another brilliant shot is when Keanu and Donnie Yen are on either side of a Jesus statue, indicating their positions in the war.
Keanu Reeves is stoic throughout the film, though we can argue that's his character. But he delivers lines as though he were learning to speak for the first time. His endurance is herculean, and his emotions are palpable. Donnie Yen is, as usual, brilliant in the action scenes, but my favourite performance in the film was that of Ian McShane. Whether it's mourning the loss of his friends, contemplating an impending disaster, or scheming a plan, Ian brings a lot of nuance to a film where nuance or varied facial expressions have no place. In light of his recent passing, Lance Riddick's final dialogue in this film serves as a beautiful, tearful goodbye.
Chad Stahelski might be in contention for the title of "GOAT action film director" if he continues his streak after this film. It's no mean feat to hit a home run in the fourth film of a series. The action scenes are not filled with heavy VFX. It's also lit clearly. But it's not just about the action alone. The world building is done neatly. Every actor is perfectly cast. The locations are perfect and really add character to the scene. The final scene is a fine example of that. The editing does not involve many jump cuts, something that is common in Hollywood action films. We can actually see what the hell is going on in a fight. He also allows the camera to linger in many scenes, capturing the violence or even a confrontation in a single frame or take. It's marvellous to watch.
On the whole, John Wick is one of the best action films since Fury Road! Go for it!