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JOHN WICK: Chapter 4 (2023) – My rating: 8/10

A closeup of John Wick, wearing a hourglass as a "tie", with bullets flowing into the lower bulb inside the hourglass.
John Wick: Chapter 4 (stylized as JW4) is a neo-noir action thriller directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. The sequel to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) and the fourth installment in the John Wick franchise.
In Chapter 4, John Wick sets out to get revenge on those who left him for dead to find a way out of the High Table with their blessing.  In a word, John Wick: Chapter 4 is “VIOLENT” with lots of thrill and action but…
In New York City, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) prepares to exact revenge against the High Table while hiding underground with the Bowery King  (Laurence Fishburne). He travels to Morocco and kills the Elder (George Georgiou), the “one who sits above the Table”. In response, the Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård), a senior member of the High Table, summons NY Continental hotel manager Winston Scott (Ian McShane) and his concierge, Charon (Lance Reddick)
in one of his last roles
.The Wire' Star Lance Reddick Dead at 60

De Gramont explains to Winston that the High Table has given him unlimited resources to find and kill John Wick. He chastises Winston for his failure to assassinate John.  As punishment, De Gramont strips Winston of his duties as manager then declares him “excommunicado”, destroys the Continental, and executes Charon. De Gramont then travels to Paris and enlists Caine (Donnie Yen), a blind, retired High Table assassin to kill his old friend, John, threatening to murder Caine’s daughter as an incentive.

To the best of my knowledge, John Wick: Chapter 4 is the most violent movie I’ve ever seen.  Previously, “The Northman” held that position but after seeing JW4, “The Northman” has to move aside. I felt so drained watching John Wick defend himself while killing so many men who were fighting to defeat one assassin. The killing scenes just wouldn’t end. Each scene said goodbye to hundreds of fighters. I really can’t talk about the plot too much because it was like a domino theory where one thing leads to another. John Wick went from the start line into the abyss of murder and mayhem. I am not singing all praises for this movie because I think a lot of it was way over the top. No human being could be shot, stabbed, beaten/punched, thrown down hundreds of flights of stairs, as well as thrown over a high balcony and survive.  Really? Are we to believe he has that much stamina? I found myself saying “oh-please” and “really” every time John Wick got up and continued the fight. While the movie was very exciting, the excitement got to be a bit much, preventing the audience from enjoying the fruits of John’s labor. The ending was a surprise and made me wonder about the future. I heard John Wick: Chapter 5 has already been greenlit.

As of March 27, 2023, John Wick: Chapter 4 has grossed $79.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $66.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $146 million. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 94% of 283 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website’s consensus reads, “John Wick: Chapter 4 piles on more of everything—and suggests that when it comes to a well-dressed Keanu Reeves dispatching his enemies in lethally balletic style, there can never be too much.” John Wick is currently playing in theaters — Check It Out!


JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (2017) – My rating: 7.5/10

johnwick2John Wick: Chapter 2 is an action thriller sequel to the 2014 film John Wick. The plot follows the popular hitman after he goes on the run when a bounty is placed on his head.  There is so much fighting and killing in this sequel, it made me tired just watching.  John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is well connected and has everything he needs to get the job done.  The only thing he doesn’t have, that he really wants, is freedom.  After the first John Wick film,  John considered himself a former assassin who just, going forward, wanted to be left alone to live his life as a free man.  The sequel opens with John tracking down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang, which he finds at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare), brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef from the first film.  During the recovery of his car, it gets heavily damaged so he calls on Aurelio (John Leguizamo), the owner of a high-end chop shop to repair it. 

After a visit from Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), John learns he is not free until he fulfills an oath sealed by blood years ago as a commitment into the assassins secret society.  When John refuses to honor his commitment, Santino burns down John beautiful home using a grenade launcher as a warning.   Winston (Ian McShane), the owner of the Continental hotel in New York City, reminds John that if he rejects the Marker, he will be violating one of the two unbreakable rules of the underworld: no killing on Continental ground, and the Markers must be honored. John accepts his duty and meets with D’Antonio, who tasks him with assassinating his sister Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini) so he can claim her seat on the “High Table,” a council of high-level crime lords. D’Antonio sends Ares (Ruby Rose), his personal bodyguard, to follow and keep an eye on John.

From here, the movie moves to Rome where John is expected to carry out his commitment.  Here he encounters Cassian (Common) an old colleague and bodyguard of Gianna’s.  There is much fighting, killing and counter plots as John fights to free himself from the Assassins underground organization.  Eventually, John seeks help from the underground crime lord Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne).  What ensues from this point is definitely a twist you won’t see coming.  John Wick is a killing machine — it’s all about survival and beating the odds.  The odds are bigger than any odds I’ve seen, which makes John’s journey seem pretty hopeless.  I wasn’t particularly fond of the sequel because of the endless killing and the hopeless plot.  John Wick: Chapter 2 has plenty of action and is not predictable.  If you don’t mind all the violence, check it out.