John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)
March 24, 2023 11:32 AM - Subscribe

John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.
posted by chavenet (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can someone PLEASE confirm no dead dogs in this one?
posted by praemunire at 12:05 PM on March 24, 2023 [5 favorites]

(BTW, I'm glad to see Hiroyuki Sanada getting more work in the West off being the best thing in the mediocrity-fest that was Bullet Train.)
posted by praemunire at 12:07 PM on March 24, 2023 [4 favorites]

Can someone PLEASE confirm no dead dogs in this one?

The dog is fine. Much like their identical twin in "Fallout 4", the dog is immortal.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:18 PM on March 24, 2023 [5 favorites]

The dog in this one is a killer, not killed. And you're rooting for the dog. And the dog is pivotal to the plot, near the end.

FWIW, John Wick Director Explains Why the Dog Had to Die in the Original Film
posted by chavenet at 5:37 PM on March 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

both dogs, new and old, are fine in this movie. no worries. A LOT of other people definitely are not.

In case these details matter to anyone in choosing a cinema - this movie was not shot in IMAX, so no need to look for that experience. It does have an incredible Dolby ATMOS soundscape though, in my opinion, so consider a Dolby cinema.
posted by alchemist at 5:50 PM on March 24, 2023

That incredible stairfall stunt was the highlight of the film for me.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:10 PM on March 24, 2023 [5 favorites]

the dog is immortal

You sure didn't lie.
posted by praemunire at 11:15 PM on March 24, 2023 [2 favorites]

Anyway, this movie is fully as absurd as any late entry in the Fast & Furious franchise, yet somehow, as a child of the 80s, I enjoyed it much more. Each actor brings their maximum cool to the role, and the villain is delightfully classic. It does run a little long for a movie that's 90% aesthetic and has some pacing issues possibly related to its swerve from the standard structure of this kind of movie.
posted by praemunire at 8:50 AM on March 25, 2023 [2 favorites]

NOTE: There is an after-credits scene!

I like how the opening scenes are all at sunset (in New York, Morocco, and Paris), then almost the entire movie takes place at night, but the final scenes are at sunrise (in both Paris and New York, again). It gives a subliminal impression that the entire film takes place in a single night. (This is bolstered by the apparent John Wick convention that travel between cities is instantaneous and invisible, at least to the audience.)

The new settings were fun, especially Paris. I also like that this installment, like the second one, had somewhat less torture/cruelty (though it wasn’t entirely free from it). My favorite new character was Shamir Anderson as the tracker (“Nobody”). Having him in the mix helped spice up what would otherwise be a lot of monotonous everybody-versus-Wick fights. Donnie Yen as Caine was good, too.

The radio station in Paris has the callsign WUXIA, lol.

As always, the fights were well-executed, and perfectly shot and edited. None of them seemed quite as creative as the best action scenes from Chapter 3 (like the knife-store fight or the horse and motorcycle chases). But chapter 4 certainly wins in quantity!

Most of the plot was clearly just an excuse to string all the fight scenes together, but I did find the ending extremely satisfying. I know that there’s no guarantee the franchise won’t be (ahem) resurrected in the future, but I like that it provided a definitive-seeming conclusion to the John Wick saga.

“Such is life.” RIP Charon and Lance Reddick.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:53 PM on March 25, 2023 [4 favorites]

I saw it again with some of my younger relatives last night. The movie was near selling out all day long--we had to sit way down in the front--and the audience was lit. When the guy takes out the giant hourglass at the beginning, everyone cracked up, and my cousin (about my age) whispered to me, "Why are they laughing?" I said, "I think it's because this whole movie is just so damn extra!"
posted by praemunire at 10:52 AM on March 26, 2023 [2 favorites]

JOHN WICK 4 resoundingly beating SHAZAM 2 at the box office was not something I would have predicted.
posted by brundlefly at 12:07 PM on March 26, 2023 [3 favorites]

Just watched it and it's so much violent fun. I'd only seen the first one quite few years ago but my wife and I binged all of the first three this week so that we could see 4 today. I'm really impressed with Chad Stahelski as a director, for someone who started out as a stunt person and not in film school, he's amazingly versed in film language and old films. There's so many references to silent movies, Hollywood musicals, westerns and well Lawrence of Arabia obviously.

I love watching an action movie that's not littered with a ton of shaky cam, choppy editing, jump cuts and shots that could only be created in CGI. This is almost all very classical camera work and editing and the fight scenes show everyone full body with minimal edits. I hope this is a trend.
posted by octothorpe at 12:33 PM on March 26, 2023 [4 favorites]

That incredible stairfall stunt was the highlight of the film for me.
It definitely got the most audible gasps out of the audience when I saw it.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:57 PM on March 26, 2023 [2 favorites]

I was laughing uncontrollably during that. It was just so over the top.
posted by octothorpe at 2:29 PM on March 26, 2023 [4 favorites]

There's so many references to silent movies, Hollywood musicals, westerns and well Lawrence of Arabia obviously.

Melville, too.
posted by praemunire at 4:23 PM on March 26, 2023 [2 favorites]

That was the stupidest movie I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot of stupid movies in my life).
posted by kokaku at 7:33 PM on March 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

For your consideration: Fast and Furious 9.
posted by praemunire at 7:28 AM on March 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I liked this more than the previous one but I truly believe horror, comedy and action should aim for 90 minutes. I left the first JW movie (96 minutes) wanting more while with this one I was exhausted at the 2 hour mark knowing there was another 30 to go. The first John Wick really is the platonic ideal of an action movie.

Still, very enjoyable and gorgeous to look at and listen to in the cinema.

And in regards to ridiculousness, the first song off the soundtrack is called "Big Wick Energy". They know exactly what kind of movie they are making.

If the now ubiquitous bullet proof suits weren't enough, Scott Adkins in a fat suit and with a bad German accent definitely pushes this into the Fast & Furious trajectory of franchises.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:55 AM on March 29, 2023 [4 favorites]

That was the stupidest movie I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot of stupid movies in my life)

As someone who actually made one of the stupidest movies ever, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you need to see more stupid movies.
posted by brundlefly at 3:42 PM on March 30, 2023 [7 favorites]

nah I'm good thanks
posted by kokaku at 5:58 PM on March 30, 2023

I don't think it's a stupid movie at all. It's a very silly movie and so relentlessly preposterous that it defies anyone to complain about implausibilities or plot holes.
posted by octothorpe at 5:34 AM on March 31, 2023 [4 favorites]

The real villain of this one? Stairs.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:57 AM on March 31, 2023 [8 favorites]

Yeah, that's why I've said "absurd" rather than "stupid."
posted by praemunire at 8:49 AM on March 31, 2023

Yeah. It's over the top, heavily stylized, and utterly unrealistic. But those aren't problems. That's what it's aiming for and I think it's very intelligently made.
posted by brundlefly at 10:22 AM on March 31, 2023 [2 favorites]

I loved The Warriors homage in the final act. What fun.
posted by whatevernot at 6:39 PM on April 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

It felt like I watched a directors cut? I would have enjoyed a tightly edited 2 hours, not 3 hours with a lot of fights where I found myself thinking, "Why are we here?"

In the first movie, Wick runs a warehouse full of prepared dudes like its nothing. Really could have cut down on the number of buildings containing dudes he closes out because we already know his moves, his reputation, and what he will do (anything).

Some real incredible moments and a real fine ending.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:51 PM on April 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

This is bolstered by the apparent John Wick convention that travel between cities is instantaneous and invisible, at least to the audience.

I like to think the Bowery King took the NYC subway to Paris.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:54 PM on April 2, 2023 [14 favorites]

Really could have cut down on the number of buildings containing dudes he closes out

Definitely too many redshirts in this one. One long anonymous-henchman-killing scene is enough for any movie, really. I suspect it's the FPS influence, but it's more fun to kill (virtually) infinite anonymous henchmen than it is to watch someone else doing it.
posted by praemunire at 8:53 AM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

For people who've never seen the previous movies, I can understand the distaste, also what the heck are you thinking jumping to the final installment. For any others, I don't really get the negative response. In many ways, this is pretty much JW3 except three hours long and better-paced in every way. It takes the absurdity and excess of the previous installment and refines it. Along with Avengers: Infinity War (forget Endgame), this was probably the best-paced >2 hour movie I've seen in a theater, and this was twenty minutes longer than that one. Actually, Way of Water was fairly decently-paced too.

Whereas JW3 was bogged down by the weight of its own self-indulgent world-building, this one cut to the chase. (In fact, John just riding into the desert and shooting the Elder almost seems like an editorial smirk at this movie retconning the bloat of the previous' Moroccan misstep.) Sure, the quest system apparent in this one is very gamey (kill a guy to help your family to get revenge to win back their love, get reinstated, to kill another guy), but it keeps the action quick.

It is rather funny that this one also further subverts the second's conceit by revealing that you could, in fact, go home again, so long as you get your ticket amended. Also that while you can re-consecrate a Continental, it can also be condemned with explosive consequences. It's been a while since I've seen a franchise sequel savage its predecessor's plot points so thoroughly.

I think Parabellum did have better some action sequences than JW4, but overall this one was a much better film.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:21 PM on April 3, 2023 [7 favorites]

I just saw it and really enjoyed it! I thought that the scenes in Osaka and Paris were particulalry beautifully filmed. The overhead shots of the fight through the semi-demolished house in Paris? Stunning.

Also loved both dogs. I hope Nobody's dog and John's dog (under such good care with the Bowery King!) get a puppy playdate.

I also totally want a spin-off about the disruptions to the global hitman economy everytime John takes out like 174 guys in a couple of weeks. Like, who's left in Paris to handle High Table business?
posted by TwoStride at 2:36 PM on April 9, 2023 [4 favorites]

My main disappointments with this movie are pretty minor- the first fight in the darkened room was hard to follow, I was hoping more of those Parisian mooks would fire back with Dragon's Breath so we can have a good old-fashioned flamewar, and what the heck is up with that "I am Groot" joke.

Mostly it's a bummer that the Bowery King didn't have as much of a role as the end of JW3 seemed to hint. Also, I had assumed a few surviving(?) foes- Cassian played by Common, and the two ninjas played by Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian of The Raid, would return in some fashion.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:27 PM on April 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

It's best to watch these movies not as stories worth thinking too hard about but as showcases for some of the best stunt choreographers and performers in human history. And from that perspective they're just a delight from start to finish. I especially liked the sequence shot form above with the flame gun where you're constantly wondering when the whole place is going to go up - just lovely stuff.

That said, I am absolutely writing mental fanfiction (and maybe it will become actual fanfiction sometime soon, that's usually how these things go for me) about what the people just trying to get home from work in that Arc de Triomphe roundabout sequence were thinking as everyone around them was just running into each other with their cars. I mean, literally a nightmare commute. Or if you're in the club and guys are taking whacks at each other with axes? What??
posted by potrzebie at 5:44 PM on May 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

That's pretty much how the director described the the movies. They come up with the stunt set-pieces first and then write a screenplay to connect them. Frankly I'm fine with that; too many movies are too plot heavy and forget that they're supposed to be moving pictures.
posted by octothorpe at 9:59 AM on May 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

Really lucky for John Wick that the hordes of bad guys take turns fighting him one at a time
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:09 PM on May 24, 2023 [2 favorites]

Just saw this last night, enjoyed it hugely as a kind of cinematic all-day sucker, and the quoting and name dropping of Ned Kelly creates the very real possibility that the next entry will contain the line “Welcome to the Brissie Conti, ya dumb c***.”

(though I suspect it might be harder to get that sweet Screen Australia co-production cash for a film with such in-universe disregard for firearms legislation)
posted by MarchHare at 3:45 PM on May 27, 2023

finally got around to watching this and it was a lot of fun! I adore how completely bonkers they’ve gotten with all the pseudo-religious rituals at this point. The Osaka sequence messed with me because they did some establishing shots of Dotonbori (Kinryu ramen! I recognize that goofy dragon!) and then everything else was shot elsewhere (Tokyo or even Berlin). Had a laugh at the station that was very clearly a New York subway. Maybe there is something to be said for the Bowery King taking the train from Newark to Umeda.

I appreciated the nod to “John Wick hates when dogs die” and Caine in general. Some of the more flamboyant movements reminded me of Señor Chang, but maybe that’s just because Donnie Yen has a similar facial structure to Ken Jeong? I would watch a Caine spinoff. Maybe it would contain more Zatoichi nods.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:56 AM on May 28, 2023

Had a laugh at the station that was very clearly a New York subway.

If you're talking about the one in Paris where the Bowery King was hanging out, that is an actual abandoned Metro station used for filming.
posted by praemunire at 10:58 AM on May 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

No, the one in Paris looked like a one in Paris. The subway station in “Osaka” was some PATH station that they neoned up to look like 1980s Hong Kong, which is apparently what Japan looks like. The train itself could scarcely have been more obviously not from Japan, heh.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2023

Journal Square.

I deny, however, that a PATH train could ever be that clean.
posted by praemunire at 4:10 PM on May 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

John should have spent more time on target practice than punching a sisal thingy. He was storm troopers levels of bad shots in this one.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 2:19 PM on May 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I also liked this one better than the last one, but Skarsgard deployed a truly dire French accent here. I like a bad accent -- Cate Blanchett's great turn as Natasha from Rocky and Bulwinkle in the Indiana Jones movie! -- but this wasn't quite bad enough to feel intentional. Why didn't someone just decide for him to be Swedish or Austrian or literally anything else than French accent guy?
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:53 PM on May 29, 2023

I suppose this was the most polished and impressive of the Wick movies, but I was bored a lot.

The fight up the steps at the end was pretty bad, and seemed pretty much out of ideas. Most of the scenes at least had one thing that was cool. And don't yank from The Warriors then have your assassin gangs be so boring and indistinguishable. What a weird time to show restraint.

The rhythm of the fight scenes was a bit off too. Some goons would take ten punches + five stabs + six bullets + two slashes to kill. Some wouldn't. It didn't matter whether they did or didn't. A lllllot of kills were like, "Just attack the weak point already John ffs." And so many times I was impressed by how long a sequence was, but I didn't feel any excitement, I never felt breathless and amazed like in Athena.

Even perhaps the coolest part, the flaming shotgun "Hotline Miami" bit in the French building, had a problem in that there wasn't really a feeling of buildup or getting anywhere. When it was over I was like, okay welp guess that's it.

God help me, I've seen Extraction 2, Avatar 2, and Accident Man 2 recently, and while none of them compare to John Wick 4 in the sheer scale of things, somehow their action scenes, overall, somehow felt variously more suspenseful, surprising, fun, or satisfying.

Maybe JW4 reminds me more of The Raid 2 or Hero, neither of which I liked too much. JW2 and 3 just grope for grandiosity by comparison. This movie achieves something through quantity. It attains similar level of impressive but tedious experience for me.

Really liked to see Scott Adkins playing a role that seems to suit him. He looked like he was having fun and Killa's death expression seems like his normal expression. And oh man, I just remembered those giant ceiling steel fans in his office that never did anything; Chekhov denied I guess, unless I just spaced out and missed it.
posted by fleacircus at 12:11 AM on June 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

Eh, I found this a bit tedious too. Mostly it was just too long. Also I feel like I enjoy each John Wick film a little less. I loved the first one, it felt so fresh and exciting and new. And just some hints of this elaborate ritualistic society of hitmen.. I appreciate they've stuck with that formula and elaborated the world building but somehow it's diminishing returns. But they worked in some good characters. Donnie Yen was fantastic, the guy can really act along with his action movie skills. Also loved Shamier Anderson as Nobody. Interesting character!

Mostly I'm mad they did a whole action movie in Paris, ending with a rush up to Sacre Couer, and somehow never once did a C’était un rendez-vous reference. Seriously, how do you not have a pretty young woman in a sundress at the top of the stairs or something? The wacky wrong-way-around-Étoile action scene kind of makes up for it though. And of course the Montmartre steps. If you've ever touristed in Paris you've probably made that climb yourself and goodness, it's a long one.

Also shout-out to the fight scene in the giant Paris apartment shot from above. So it looked like a literal video game.

RIP Lance Riddick. RIP Concierge. Probably not RIP John Wick though, at least that's what the after-viewing websites all say. I was kind of hoping they'd kill him off entirely and let Nobody take over the franchise.
posted by Nelson at 6:59 AM on August 9, 2023 [2 favorites]

Why didn't someone just decide for him to be Swedish or Austrian or literally anything else than French accent guy?

He was the Marquis of Whatever and marquiseses are French.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:41 PM on December 9, 2023

The Marquis: A man without puppers is nothing.
Perhaps the essential moral of the whole series.
posted by Grangousier at 2:41 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]

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