Keanu Reeves makes a killing again in John Wick 4
Film review: John Wick 4 (15) – seen at The Light Cinema, Wisbech
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Bill Skarsgård and Donnie Yen
Running time: 2hr 49 mins Director: Chad Stahelski
I never got round to watching the third John Wick movie, but settling down to watch the latest
instalment of the Keanu Reeves franchise, I knew it wouldn’t really matter.
In fact, a friend was due to watch it at the weekend without having seen any of the first three, and I was able to summarise them all in seconds, and give her a good idea as to what the latest film would entail.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a criticism. John Wick is high octane, totally unbelievable, blockbusting killer thriller. It’s always thoroughly enjoyable and most agree the fourth film probably tops the lot.
As I said, we know the premise and we route for mean and moody John (conveniently forgetting he was once a hired killer by choice) as he dispatches baddie after baddie en route to an ultimate showdown.
In the first three films he killed 84, 128 and 94 respectively, and I don’t think anyone’s done the math for this one yet… but it’s an awful lot.
In a whirlwind start, taking in several countries, we see John make his first kill and he is soon catapulted into a situation where he has to dodge dozens of attempts on his own life as he hurtles towards a do or die clash with the Marquis Vincent de Gramont.
To be honest, Reeves’ undoubted acting talents aren’t stretched as John Wick, although his stunt double certainly puts in a shift. People love him though… the smile on my wife’s face as he pulled out the tooth of yet another victim to prove his kill to his ‘Table’ family was quite disconcerting. In fact, she smiles throughout when watching him.
Ian McShane is slightly ridiculous as Winston, all teeth and toupee as he hams it up for a fourth time, and crazy at it seems, Donnie Yen is superb again as the blind but deadly assassin Caine. While Bill Skarsgård is brilliantly sinister as the suave, evil Marquis.
There were even laughs from the auditorium as a particularly nasty would-be killer suffered the ignominy of a dog cocking it’s leg over him seconds after his death.
My laughs came shortly after when, in Paris, John battled his way past multiple threats to get to the top of more than 200 church steps, only to be knocked down again. It reminded me of the final weekend cyclone task in ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’.
I did think the close to three hour run time was a little bloated and some of the fight scenes could have been shorter. But all in all, this film was tremendous fun and even had a decent plot twist at the end. I really enjoyed it, just not as much as my wife.
By Jeremy Ransome