John Wick: Chapter 4

John Wick: Chapter 4 ★★★★★

Massive props to Chad Stahelski — who further cements himself as one of our greatest contemporary action filmmakers not merely because of how he shoots and stages set-pieces, but also for his formalism itself; easily some of Dan Laustsen’s very best work as DP — for not just making a $100 million budgeted Heroic Bloodshed film populated with immaculate set-pieces which put nearly every single Hollywood action film to shame (and deserve to at least be in the discussion for being in a similar league as this film’s Hong Kong action cinema influence), but also bringing on some of the coolest people in the world and actually allowing them to show why they’re some of the coolest people in the world. I’ll fully admit that seeing Scott Adkins, one of our greatest action stars, do his spin-kick in a Dolby Atmos cinema in particular was a hugely gratifying moment for me. And how awesome is it to see HK icon Donnie Yen finally be decently utilized in a Hollywood production!

Not only is it quite safe to say 2023 action films already have their work cut out for them based on both FURIES and this alone, but coming from someone who actively tries to seek out both domestic and international action films on a variety of different budgets as opposed to just seeking out the mainstream stuff, this is, from what I’ve seen thus far (it’s totally possible there’s some hidden DTV gem that missed my radar), the best American action film since at least Mad Max: Fury Road. Even as someone who loves both the second and third John Wick films, to say I was blown away by this would be an understatement. Spectacular stuff.

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