John Wick: Chapter 4

John Wick: Chapter 4 ★★★★

John Wick 4 starts out the opposite way to the preceeding entry. It's a slow build - introducing new characters and setting the situation. The whole concept is thoroughly broadened out, while retaining the series theme of rules and consequences and keeping the central focus on the plight of the titular character. It's some way in before the movie finally starts to deliver on what we came for - and then it basically doesn't stop delivering for the next two hours plus. What John Wick 4 lacks in realism it makes up for with pure cinematic spectacle. It's influences are obvious - a Good, Bad, Ugly style triumvirate in the centre of the plot; numerous nods to Japanese Samurai films; Spaghetti Western style close-ups and an extended tribute to The Warriors in the final act, among more besides. The globetrotting plot allows the film a lot of variation in the action sequences, all of which are extravagant and expertly choreographed. A Brian De Palma style extended overhead shot capturing a shootout inside a house is the coup de grâce for the entire series. This fourth chapter really takes the whole concept to its furthest reaches and does it with a huge smile on its face. Joyful cinema.

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