Associated Press critic Mark Kennedy says the fourth installment is more stylish, more elegant and even wilder.
A trip to Paris should be on everyone’s bucket list, even John Wick. Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre – what better way to refresh your soul, even when you kick someone else’s bucket?
The unretired assassin really plunges into the City of Light in the innovative and thrilling “John Wick: Chapter 4,” a sequel that elevates and expands the series. The fourth installment is more stylish, elegant and funky – just like Paris itself.
The last time we saw Buck, he was half dead in the gutter after being shot and tumbled several floors from the Continental Hotel in New York. He was on the blacklist with a $14 million price tag on his head. (Inflation even affected this series: Bounty increased to $40 million at the end of season four.)
Wick, as Keanu Reeves always plays with monophonic and brooding intensity, leaves his usual death trail, but there’s a twist here. So often the prey in previous installments, Wick will strike in the fourth, making his claim directly to The High Table, the group of shadowy crime bosses that keep order.
This time, Table’s sadistic leader is a dashing man known as the Marquis, played by Bill Skarsgård with coil menace, who utters things like: “Second chances are a haven for the undead. failed man.” But he’s a secret coward, so boo it out loud.
The nine-fingered wick wants to end his nightmare, naturally, by killing everyone. His great nemesis, Ian McShane’s Winston, challenges him to think differently: “Did you learn anything?” he asked the man, to be honest, he shot in the previous movie. “You’ll run out of ammo before they run out of heads.”
Returning writer Shay Hatten, along with co-writer Michael Finch, came up with a possible solution for the Wick: Win an old-fashioned duel with the Marquis. Winning is freedom, losing is buried.
Not too fast, of course. Along the way, Buck must somehow handle the blind martial artist Caine, played by Donnie Yen, bringing humor and vibrancy to a boxer tasked with either killing his one-time friend or killing his son. his daughter.
There’s also Killa, a giant card shark played by martial arts star Scott Adkins, and The Tracker, a highly talented bounty hunter played by Shamier Anderson. Don’t forget a group of amateur bounty hunters and armor-clad ninjas based in Paris who seem as rich as the city’s baguettes.
All the touches you’d expect from a Wick movie are here — a cool dog, hand-to-hand combat between glass display cases, candles and Christian symbols, galloping horses, voices the hiss of metal swords and a new way to hurt someone, in this case, a single playing card. We visited Germany, Japan and ended up in France, even going to an abandoned subway platform.
Returning director Chad Stahelski likes to combine neon lights with shadows and currently has the budget to rent space in the Louvre. Of the 14 action sequences — yes, 14 — some are truly awe-inspiring, such as a fight in the middle of traffic around the Arc de Triomphe and a drone capturing a complex setting in a building involving what is known as a dragon’s breath pistol. To repeat that last thing: the dragon’s breath pistol.
If there’s a bit of a catchphrase about assassins in “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” — you know, shoot, stab, repeat — there’s none here. A scene on an outdoor staircase in Paris is almost hysterically laughable as knives and guns explode, while the filmmakers add water and fire to a frenetic nightclub scene featuring non-dancer dancers. know nothing besides ax-throwing killers.
Big thanks to costume designer Paco Delgado, who outfitted the villains with brightly colored three-piece suits and combat boots, and executive minions in tailored chic outfits gorgeous cravat ties. One of the saddest parts of the film is the farewell to Lance Reddick, who played Charon, the hotel concierge at the Continental Hotel, who died shortly before the film’s premiere.
How does all this end? Actually, on something of a fart note. Earlier in the film, Buck’s Japanese friend Shimazu — brilliantly played by Hiroyuki Sanada — asks a question that has always haunted the franchise: “Have you thought about the ending of this movie? Not yet?”
This chapter ends with death, of course. But that’s also how it lives.
“John Wick: Chapter 4,” a Lionsgate film that hits theaters Friday, is rated R for “pervasive violence and some language.” Run time: 169 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four. ___ MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 years old requires a parent or guardian adult to accompany. ___ Online:
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/review-john-wick-4/507-2da6dc29-24b6-4210-8ca8-fdfc529f03c9 John Wick 4 Movie Review: Even more stylish, thrilling