Saturday, March 25, 2023

Review John Wick: Chapter 4 Full of Exciting Action

John Wick's first film could be Hollywood's answer to the glory of The Raid. The brutal thumping action, action scenes that emphasize fight choreography instead of fast editing and a simple story are clearly inspired by the film starring Iko Uwais.

Nearly a decade later, the journey of a hit man who rose from his early retirement after his beloved anabul was murdered enters its fourth volume. And it seems this is not the last series of John Wick (Keanu Reeves). John Wick: Chapter 4 continues John's quest for revenge with the higher ups of the High Table.

After successfully killing Elder in Morocco, those closest to him immediately felt the consequences. Winston (Ian McShane) is not only fired as manager of the New York branch of Continental but he also has to watch his hotel go down. Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill SkarsgÄrd) is now getting resources from the High Table to eliminate John.

John also goes to Osaka to meet his old friend whom he still trusts, Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada). The Marquis also did the same. He hires the services of John's old friend, Caine (Donnie Yen), to catch John. The fight was inevitable.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is the first film in the John Wick series not written by Derek Kolstad. The scriptwriting responsibility now rests with Stay Hatten and Michael Finch. The result is a story that is quite simple but still manages to develop the John Wick mythology even bigger.

If there's one thing that I always appreciate from John Wick films, it's how the makers always know how to introduce their new characters. The new characters in the John Wick series always make sense. Once they appear, the creators of the John Wick series have always managed to convince me that they have been in the world for a long time.

In John Wick: Chapter 4 the audience will get acquainted with characters such as Koji, Akira (Rina Sawayama), Marquis, Caine, Killa (Scott Adkins), Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson) to Katia (Natalia Tena). These new characters not only manage to penetrate the world of John Wick but also add to the background of the figure of John Wick himself.

As an action film, the duration of nearly three hours is unreasonable. How is it possible that a film whose duration rarely talks about the same length as The Lord of the Rings? This long duration is like two images on the same coin.

On a positive note, the audience will be treated to amazing set pieces that will never stop. On the negative, it's quite tiring to watch action movies so far. Even though the duration is quite long, there isn't a single dull moment in it
John Wick: Chapter 4.

Apart from all the actors in it playing beautifully (Rina Sawayama and Shamier Anderson really steal the show), this film could be a place to show off Chad Stahelski as a director because this film presents tense action scenes that are beautiful to the eye.

There are lots of fight scenes in John Wick: Chapter 4 but perhaps the most memorable are the three set pieces in Osaka, Berlin and the top one is in Paris. What's impressive is not only that these three set pieces are really fun and very neatly designed, but these three set pieces have a different but equally beautiful visual language.

If the set pieces in Osaka feel artistic with a beautiful setting, then the fight scenes in Berlin are done in a nightclub. The production design of this film really maximizes the space for movement so that Stahelski can show the contrast between what the main character is doing and the extras around him.

In the Berlin scene, it feels quite surreal (and makes sense in the world of John Wick) to see John fighting with Killa while the people around them are dancing. Even though the scenes in Osaka and in Berlin are exciting, nothing beats the set pieces in Paris which probably took more than 30 minutes alone.

From the streets of Paris to the stairs, Stahelski seemed to be showing off his actions. John must fight all the assassins that are after him. These set pieces are agilely choreographed. Coupled with solid editing, the brutality of this fight is really fun to watch on an IMAX-sized screen.

From a traffic jam to a fight scene in an empty building (one long take of which will leave the audience in awe) and ending with a scene on the stairs, John Wick: Chapter 4 shows his mettle in this sequence.

With great visuals (note how brightly lit this film is, very refreshing when compared to most blockbusters where the picture tends to be overcast), John Wick: Chapter 4 is solid food for any action fan.

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